Trust vote: BJP plans to reduce Cong-JD(S) strength

Trust vote: BJP plans to reduce Cong-JD(S) strength

A view of the Assembly hall in Vidhana Soudha. The Assembly will resume discussion on trust vote on Monday. DH File Photo

If the BJP, which is waiting in the wings to form its government, finds success in hatching its plan, the Congress-JD(S) coalition will be down to 98 when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy takes the floor test.

The confidence motion is expected to be put to vote on Monday, unless the ruling coalition decides to delay it further. 

According to sources, the plan is to get some legislators of the ruling coalition to abstain during the trust vote. 

The Congress-JD(S) coalition has been scrambling ever since 15 rebel MLAs tendered resignation and two Independents withdrew support. This reduced the 116-member coalition, excluding the Speaker, to 101. 

The coalition has been on the edge after Congress’ Kagwad legislator Shrimant Patil took off from the resort where the party had kept its legislators. Patil, who is said to be hospitalised in Mumbai, has informed Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar that he will not be able to attend the remaining part of the ongoing session till July 26. 

Also, there is uncertainty on whether Congress’ Bellary legislator B Nagendra will make it for the trust vote. He is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital amid speculation that he may join the rebel camp. 

Then, the lone BSP legislator N Mahesh, who is supporting the ruling coalition, has not attended the ongoing Assembly session since it started on July 12. It is speculated that he may choose to keep away as he has not received clarity from BSP chief Mayawati on the side he should take in the trust vote. 

The two Independents H Nagesh and R Shankar have extended support to the BJP, taking its tally to 107. But the saffron party may end up with 106 on the day of voting as Shankar is likely to be kept away.

“While Nagesh’s seat in the Assembly has been changed to the Opposition side, Shankar’s seat still remains on the ruling side. So, we don’t want to
take chances,” a BJP leader said.  

The BJP has been pressing for a division of votes, which means the number of “ayes” and “nays” will be counted row-wise on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker can cast his vote only in the case of a tie. 

Meanwhile, the BJP legislators are cooling off at a resort. Outside, Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath was seen playing cricket.