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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Yeddyurappa calls Amit Shah amid speculation over resignation

Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil, who had been incommunicado for a while and missed the oath-taking ceremony in the Assembly, are now back in the party camp

Bengaluru: Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa has called up BJP president Amit Shah amid speculation of his resignation before the floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 PM.

Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Pratap Gouda Patil, who had been incommunicado for a while and missed the oath-taking ceremony in the Assembly, are now back in the party camp.

The stage is set for the floor test in Karnataka Assembly to test the strength of the two-day-old BS Yeddyurappa government amid allegations of poaching and horse-trading.

The floor test will be overseen by pro-tem speaker KG Bopaiah after the Supreme Court dismissed a Congress petition against his appointment and ordered live telecast of the proceedings. Sources said the floor test will be conducted via a show of hands. The Assembly session began on Saturday morning with Bopaiah administering the oath to all newly elected MLAs.

A four-time MLA, Bopaiah was the Karnataka Assembly speaker from 2009 to 2013 and had disqualified 16 MLAs and bailed out the then BS Yeddyurappa government ahead of a no-confidence vote in 2010.

The Congress and JD(S) MLAs who were camping at a hotel in Hyderabad fearing alleged attempts of poaching by the BJP came back to the city this morning.

As per the directions of the apex court, the police have made massive security arrangements in and around the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the State legislature, for the smooth conduct of the floor test.

Public entry to the Vidhana Soudha has been restricted and officials and staff of the Secretariat are being allowed to enter the premises after thorough checks.

Elections held on 12 May to 222 of the 224 constituencies in the state threw up a hung assembly with the BJP emerging as the single largest party having 104 MLAs, seven short of the halfway mark of 111, while the Congress won 78 seats and JD(S) 37.

Yeddyurappa was sworn in as chief minister on 17 May, two days after the results were declared after the governor accepted his claim to form the government.

The decision was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Congress and the JDS and passing interim orders on their petition, the court yesterday directed that the floor test is conducted today.

Striking a post-poll alliance, the combine has claimed the support of 117 MLAs, including one each from the BSP and the KPJP and one Independent.

On the other hand, Yeddyurappa has asserted that he has “100% confidence” that he would prove his majority.

With the BJP having only 104 MLAs, it remains to be seen how the party will rustle up the numbers and prove majority.

Reports suggested that the BJP has reached out to the Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who are unhappy over coming together of their parties for power, to abstain from attending the House today.

Also, the other plan is to ensure that at least seven MLAs cross vote in BJP’s favour.

The specially called assembly session began at 11 AM when the newly-elected MLAs were administered oath by Bopaiah.

Voting will happen on the motion moved the chief minister through the process of headcount, where row by row counting of votes of those supporting and opposing the motion will take place.

 

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