BJP not to field firebrands during trust vote debate

BJP not to field firebrands during trust vote debate

Legislators C T Ravi. DH file photo

The BJP has picked its openers carefully for the big match on Thursday when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s confidence motion will be taken up for discussion in the Legislative Assembly.

Wary of giving Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar any scope to suspend its legislators, the party has asked its rabble-rousers to sit tight and quiet. 

On behalf of the BJP, legislators J C Madhuswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri have been tasked with helming the party’s response to the confidence motion alongside Leader of the Opposition B S Yeddyurappa. 

Legislators such as M P Renukacharya, C T Ravi, A S Patil (Nadahalli) among others, who are known for their firebrand approach, have been asked not to react to intimidation by the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition. “They have been asked not to get carried away by comments made by members of the ruling coalition. They may attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intimidate us,” a BJP legislator said. 

The 105-member BJP has the support of two Independents, taking its tally to 107. This is against the Congress-JD(S) coalition tally of 101, including the Speaker. The saffron party is conscious that the Congress and the JD(S) may press for the suspension of BJP legislators during any fracas. Say, even if five BJP MLAs are suspended for violating rules of the House, it could dent the party’s prospects of defeating the confidence motion. 

Former minister Renukacharya, for instance, is known in the party circles for being a motormouth. Last week, he engaged in a noisy, verbal duel with Congress’ U T Khader at the Vidhana Soudha. Hence, he has been specially asked to exercise restraint during the confidence motion proceedings.  

It is also speculated that the ruling coalition is trying to get some BJP legislators to cross-vote or abstain from voting when the floor test happens. Legislative Council member and BJP general secretary N Ravikumar, however, dismissed this possibility. “We are 107, including Independents, and they (coalition) will not be able to touch even a single strand of our hair,” he said.