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Karnataka: BJP in no hurry to form govt

Our Bureau New Delhi/Bengaluru | Updated on July 25, 2019 Published on July 24, 2019

BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa celebrating the party’s victory after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the vote of confidence in Assembly, in Bengaluru, on Tuesday   -  -

Central leadership to first settle legal issues relating to the 16 rebel MLAs

The BJP on Monday did not seem in a hurry to form the government in Karnataka as the central leadership began consultions with all stakeholders, especially the 16 rebel MLAs.

BJP’s State unit president BS Yeddyurappa remained the party’s top choice for the Chief Minister’s post because it is more certain of his potential to damage the State unit than his suitability for the job.

“We have to ensure the formation of a stable government in Karnataka. There is no alternative to Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister but before we install him, it is important to ensure that the future government faces no challenges from any quarters,” said a BJP source.

In Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa met RSS leaders at the Keshava Krupa headquarters and said he was ‘awaiting instructions’ from Delhi.

“I can call the legislature party meeting any time and go to the Raj Bhavan (to stake claim). I’m waiting for it,” Yeddyurappa said.

Earlier in the morning, senior BJP MLAs JC Madhuswamy and Basavaraj Bommai met the Speaker. “We met the Speaker today to impress upon clearing the money bill. We didn’t hold any discussions on the resignation of the rebel MLAs. Money bill is very vital. We cannot influence the Speaker to speed up the resignation process because his office is a quasi-judicial body.”

When asked what’s next for the BJP, Madhuswamy said, “BJP national President Amit Shah has to instruct us to call a legislature party meeting in the presence of an observer to elect the leader.”

Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, along with his colleague C N Ashwath Narayana, reportedly flew to an undisclosed resort near Pune to hold parleys with the 16 rebel MLAs whose resignations led to the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government on Tuesday.

Sources said Ashoka was to dash to Delhi to discuss all ‘political and legal issues’ with the central party leadership.

The question is whether Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar would disqualify these MLAs as opposed to accepting their resignations.

In either case, the MLAs will have to seek re-election, but if disqualified by the Speaker, uncertainty looms over their chances to becoming ministers in the future BJP government.

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During the trust vote on Tuesday, the strength of the House had shrunk to 205 as 20 MLAs did not vote with 19 of them being absent and the other Speaker who did not participate in the voting. Of those who were absent, 13 were Congress rebels, three were from the JD(S), 1 was a BSP MLA and 2 were Independent MLAs.

The Congress, however, claimed that of the two Independent MLAs, one has to be counted as a Congress MLA because he had merged his party with the Congress.

The State party unit is expecting a central observer to monitor and guide with respect to government formation.

Published on July 24, 2019
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