Bengaluru: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party may have publicly slammed the disqualification of 17 rebel Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs by the Speaker but it has also come as a blessing in disguise for newly-sworn-in Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who will be seeking a vote of confidence in the Assembly on Monday.
Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar who had disqualified three lawmakers last week, on Sunday took similar action against 14 more Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs as per the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
With the disqualification of 17 MLAs in total, the strength of the Assembly has fallen to 207 from the total 224+1 (nominated member) and the half way mark has come down to 104.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party has 105 members and the support of one independent member, Mr Nagesh and has crossed the half way mark now, the JD(S) and Congress together have only 100 MLAs (excluding the Speaker).
From the day Mr Yediyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister, the opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) were questioning the governor's decision contending that the BJP should have 111 members (after the disqualification of three MLAs) since the strength of the Assembly was 221. This had become a cause of worry for the CM as the BJP's strength was well below the half way mark at 106. Sunday's disqualification has reduced the House strength and the half-way mark further ensuring the BJP has the numbers.
However, leaving nothing to chance, the Chief Minister has directed senior leaders to keep an eye on all its legislators and ensure that they reach the resort where they are staying after the BJP LP meeting.
Each leader has been assigned the task of safeguarding 20-25 legislators an ensure their participation in the LP meeting besides making sure they are present in the House during the crucial vote of confidence on Monday.
Meanwhile, the hopes Congress leaders had nurtured of getting some of the rebel MLAs back in the party fold before the confidence vote, have fallen flat.
Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC President Dinesh Gundurao, KPCC Working President Eshwar Khandre and former deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwar tried their best to convince these lawmakers to return to the party fold but their advice was rejected....