Wary Congress to seek headcount, reject voice vote

Last Updated 18 May 2018, 19:06 IST

The Congress, which has the majority stake in the Congress-JD(S) combine, is likely to demand a headcount when Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa seeks to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Saturday.

The need for the Congress to ask for a headcount, instead of a voice vote, comes in the wake of senior BJP legislator K G Bopaiah being appointed pro tem Speaker to oversee the trust vote.

“We know what this could mean. They may go for a voice vote, create a ruckus and then get away. So, it is our right to ask for a headcount because we have the numbers,” a Congress legislator, who was formerly a minister, said.

Confined to star hotel

Congress legislators have been confined to a star hotel in Hyderabad. All through, Congress leaders have been tight-lipped on the exact number of legislators camped together. However, they maintain that everybody is together and united. “We will leave Friday night, reach the resort in Bidadi to freshen up and head to the Assembly,” the MLA said.

Cong upbeat

The Congress’ camp was upbeat after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test. “It was the most astonishing thing in Indian history for a governor to give a CM two weeks to prove the majority. The maximum recorded time any CM had been given was one week. We congratulate the judiciary for uprightness, for saving democracy and protecting the Constitution,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said Governor Vajubhai Vala had “colluded” with the BJP. “It was deliberate, unconstitutional and undemocratic of Mr Vala to have invited the BJP first to form the government,” he said. “In fact, the Governor told Yeddyurappa, ‘You fool, why do you want only 7 days? Take 15 days so you can trade horses properly,’” he quipped.

‘Anand Singh abducted’

Mining baron and Congress legislator Anand Singh had been “abducted” and confined in Delhi, according to Siddaramaiah. “He has been abducted and kept in wrongful confinement.

This is what BJP is shamelessly doing. But Anand Singh is in touch with us,” he said. Ghulam Nabi Azad added that Singh, once free and inside the Assembly, would vote for Congress. When asked where Maski MLA Pratapgouda Patil was, Siddaramaiah said he had already signed a letter stating he would support the Congress.

(Published 18 May 2018, 18:35 IST)

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