The BJP's BS Yeddyurappa faces a test of strength in Karnataka today, following the Supreme Court directions against governor’s decision to give him 15 days to prove majority. Congress also filed a fresh petition against the appointment of pro-term Speaker KG Bopaiah. However, the top court dismissed the plea, and has directed to live telecast the floor test.
The effective strength of the house is 221, so the majority is 111. As you know, BJP is eight short of the majority mark of 111. It should also be noted that one of its legislators was chosen as the speaker; hence they have 103 votes only. The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) of HD Deve Gowda have 115 MLA’s elected.
How can the BJP win floor test without majority? Here are those ‘likely’ to happen situations At 4 pm, when the interim speaker call for a trust vote.
- The BJP gets Congress-JDS lawmakers to defy the party whip and vote in its favour: This is the most predicted situation as the BJP has always been confident in saying ‘they have majority / support of JDS-Congress lawmakers’. If JDS-Congress MLA’s vote for BJP, it attracts anti-defection law causing their disqualification. But the process of disqualification can drag on for years, before which Karnataka may likely go for next elections.
- BJP gets opposition lawmakers to abstain from voting, thereby bringing down the effective strength of the house and the majority mark; Majority is decided on the basis of votes casted only, but not on the basis of attendance.
- Reduce the attendance of JDS-Congress MLA’s: If BJP manages to stop at least 9 of the opposition MLA’s from attending the floor test and all the 103 MLA’s of BJP attends the voting, BJP will win the floor test. In this case, JDS-Congress MLA’s are safe from the risk of anti-defection law.
- The party that senses a defeat can disrupts the assembly and forces an adjournment, to play above cards again in the next floor test.
This may not be the first floor test for Mr. Yeddyurappa, but the situation is different unlike the earlier floor tests. However, he is guarded by the BJP, which is known to play with the numbers and rules that we have witnessed earlier in Goa, Nagaland etc., On the other hand, Congress has a long history of running the governments in minority and playing around with number of floor tests.