Thursday, October 14, 2010

Karnataka opposition pins hopes on court ruling

The Opposition parties on Thursday said Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's second trust vote victory was "transitory and temporary" and just a "semi-final" win, as it pinned hopes on a favourable ruling from the High court over disqualification of 16 dissident MLAs.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on its part said the floor test in the Assembly in Karnataka conclusively proved it has a majority support with Mr. Yeddyurappa asserting he had created a "history of sorts" by winning the trust vote for a second time in a gap of three days.

The Karnataka High Court has adjourned to October 18, 2010 the hearing on petitions by 11 BJP rebels and five Independents challenging their disqualification by the Speaker ahead of the first trust vote on Monday. The court on Wednesday made it clear that the outcome of Thursday's floor test will be subject to its ruling on the petitions.

"In the history of the country, there is no instance of a government proving majority within three days after winning the trust vote", the Chief Minister said.

"I have created history of sorts by winning the trust vote for the second time in three days", a beaming Mr. Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bangalore after winning the motion of confidence by 106-100 votes.

'Vitiated and subverted'

The Congress slammed the trust vote win calling it "vitiated" and "subverted".

"The intent of the BJP from day one was to convert a minority government into a majority government and by using money and muscle power, the BJP has been able to prove its majority in this vitiated vote of confidence," Party spokesperson Manish Tiwari told reporters in New Delhi.

Law Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister Veerappa Moily said the BJP victory was only "transitory" in nature. "Much would depend on the court ruling," he said.

Congress leader and leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said "This is only the semi-final".

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the Congress was awaiting the High Court ruling while the working president of the party's Karnataka unit D.K. Shiv Kumar described the BJP victory as a partial win since the disqualified MLAs did not participate.

Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the trust vote victory was "temporary".

"They (the BJP) can only enjoy for some time. Maximum for 10 days," he said.

"Yeddyurappa need not be swayed by the temporary victory. Wait for the High court verdict. The question whether the BJP has majority or not is decided then", Mr. Kumaraswamy said.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said "We have come back again and this is indeed a historic moment for Karnataka and for the BJP. The floor test conclusively proves the BJP stand that it has a majority there."

He claimed that with 106 votes in its favour in the Assembly which now has an effective strength of 208, the ruling party was "far ahead and beyond" the majority mark of 104 and even if the disqualified MLAs were allowed to vote it would not affect the government.

"Two MLAs — one from the JD (S) and one from the BJP — abstained from voting. If that is so, then the factual strength of the assembly is 206 and the majority mark 103. Even if we presume that on October 18, the court allows the Independent MLAs to vote, we would still have 106 MLAs and vote of the Speaker, giving us a majority in a House of 213 members," Mr. Rudy said.

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