It may still not be the endgame for Shettar

It may still not be the endgame for Shettar

 KJP leader B S Yeddyurappa may have to muster the support of at least 18 ruling party MLAs and get the cooperation of the combined Opposition in the Assembly to succeed in his efforts to bring down the Jagadish Shettar government.

In the 225-member Assembly, the ruling BJP’s strength is 120 (including the Speaker, a nominated MLA and an independent MLA who is a minister), while the combined Opposition has 103 members: Congress - 71, JD(S) - 26, Independents - five and BSR Congress - one. Two seats are vacant following the resignation of Haladi Srinivasa Shetty and B S Yeddyurappa, and both were with the BJP.

The Shettar government can be reduced to a minority only if 18 BJP MLAs resign, which, according to sources, is unlikely to happen on Wednesday.

Though the KJP leaders have been claiming that two Cabinet ministers and some MLAs would resign on Wednesday, they are clueless as to exactly how many MLAs would resign. BJP MLA B P Harish, a loyalist of Yeddyurappa, said Tuesday evening that though he will quit the BJP, the KJP has no intention of pulling down the government.

Yeddyurappa does not want the BJP government to present the 2013-14 budget. The budget session has already been convened from February 4, and Shettar is scheduled to present the budget on February 8. If the Opposition wants to bring down the government, it can move a no-confidence motion.

But the KJP leaders themselves are not clear about the actual strength of Yeddyurappa in terms of MLAs’ support.  However, they have been claiming that they have the support of 18 MLAs. 

Even if Yeddyurappa manages to make 18 BJP MLAs resign, he may need the cooperation of the Congress, the JD(S) and other MLAs - could be the BSR Congress MLA, BJP MLAs of Bellary who are with the party for the sake of being there and Independents - to bring down the government.

For, there is a possibility of Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah not immediately accepting the resignation letters of the MLAs – not till the budget is presented. If the KJP approaches the Governor withdrawing support to the government, he will, in turn, ask the chief minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House. Then the combined Opposition will have to vote against the government, sources said.

Sources said even if the Governor asks Shettar to prove his majority, there is a possibility of either the Congress or the JD(S) or Independent MLAs abstaining at the time of voting.

The government will then survive. In the event of the Speaker accepting the resignations of 18 MLAs or the ruling party gets them disqualified, the total strength of the House will come down to 205. The ruling party will then require the support of 103 members in the House to continue in power.

Three BJP MLAs from Bellary are associated with the BSR Congress. Besides, Independent MLA Varthur Prakash, who is now part of the  Cabinet, may switch sides.

Sources in the Congress and JD(S) said they have no plans to move a no-confidence motion against the government.

They fear that they will have to take the blame for toppling the Shettar government ahead of the polls. While the JD(S) says it will support the Congress in case the motion is moved, the Congress says, the BJP is on a suicidal path and wants it commit all blunders possible.  

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