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Revolt in Karnataka, CM loses majority
Yeddyurappa gets six days to win confidence vote
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, October 6
The trouble-prone BJP government in Karnataka plunged into a fresh crisis - arguably the most serious one in its 28-month tenure - with 19 legislators, including seven ministers, withdrawing support to the government and reducing it to a minority.

The MLAs - 14 from the BJP and five Independents - wrote a joint letter to Governor HR Bhardwaj saying they were withdrawing support to the government. Bhardwaj has asked Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa to prove his majority in the House by October 12.

“Taking into consideration the withdrawal of support by 19 legislators, including seven ministers, the Governor has requested the CM to prove that his government had majority support in the Legislative Assembly through a confidence motion on or before October 12 by 5pm,” a statement issue by the Raj Bhavan said.

The beleaguered Yeddyurappa is trying to win back the disgruntled MLAs. But only one of them - Doddana Patil - has so far responded favourably to the CM’s overtures. The remaining 18 MLAs, led by Excise Minister MP Renukacharya, have taken a strident stand with regard to withdrawal of support to the government.

If the 18 MLAs stick to their stand - and it is feared that they will - than the Yeddyurappa government will no more have the simple majority that it enjoys in the 225-member Karnataka Assembly.

The BJP has 117 members in the Assembly. Withdrawal of support by 13 MLAs straightway reduces its strength to 104 - nine short from the magic number of 113 required for simple majority in the House. The Independent MLAs - who have turned against Yeddyurappa - extended support to the party after the BJP won 110 seats in the Assembly elections held in May 2008.

Yeddyurappa has retaliated by sacking four ministers --- Independent MLAs, who are among the 19 legislators who have withdrawn support.

No action, however, has been taken against the three BJP ministers, who are also signatories of the letter submitted to the Governor this morning. Yeddyurappa, talking to reporters here after an emergency Cabinet meeting today, accused the opposition Janata Dal (Secular) of conspiring against his government. He alleged that several crores were spent by the JD(S) to trigger the crisis. The allegation, however, has been denied by Renukacharya, leader of the rebel MLAs and HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister.

JD(S) leaders are holding parleys with the Congress to come up with an alternative. The Congress has 73 MLAs and JD(S) 27. For forming a government, they will require the support of rebel BJP legislators. This, however, may not be possible since it will attract action against the rebel BJP MLAs for violating the anti-defection law. The rebel BJP MLAs were camping in Chennai from where they have now reportedly proceeded towards Kochi.





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