In a relief to the ruling BJP that faced threats of instability, Karnataka Governor H. R. Bhardwaj today said the Jagadish Shettar Ministry still enjoyed a majority after 13 party MLAs announced their resignation, but he would order a floor test if he felt it has been reduced to a minority.
“On the day on which the Government comes into a minority even with one MLA less, I will issue notice. Now 13 MLAs have resigned but the Government is still in majority,” he told presspersons as Shettar stood next to him after the Republic Day function here.
Bhardwaj said he would act according to the advice of Shettar as long as he was the Chief Minister, but wouldn’t do so after his Government had lost majority. “I will not do any unconstitutional work. I am watching,” he said.
Question marks over the Shettar Government’s survival were raised after 13 MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief and former BJP strongman B. S. Yeddyurappa announced their decision to quit the membership of the assembly.
The MLAs’ bid to push the Government into a corner, however, was in vain as Assembly Speaker K. G. Bopaiah was not in station, an issue over which they cried foul and petitioned the Governor to whom they submitted copies of their resignation letters.
The Governor’s remarks come as a relief to the over six-month-old Shettar Government as it has belied the hopes, at least for the present, of Yeddyurappa to force the exit of the BJP Ministry ahead of assembly elections due in May.
Bhardwaj said today that Shettar was the leader of the BJP Legislature Party and it was left to him to take action on the issue of resignation by 13 MLAs.