BSP chief Mayawati (File Photo)
Amid reports that BSP MLA N Mahesh will not be attending the Karnataka floor test tomorrow, party chief Mayawati has taken a U-turn and asked the lone legislator to vote in support of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JDS government in the southern state. Earlier in the day, Mahesh told reporters that his high command has asked him to abstain from voting on trust motion, so he won't take part in Monday's session and will be in his constituency.
"BSP national chief Mayawatiji has directed its MLA to vote in support of CM HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka," the tweet on the official handle of Mayawati reads.
बी.एस.पी. की राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष सुश्री मायावती जी ने कर्नाटक में अपने बी.एस.पी. के विधायक को सी.एम. श्री कुमार स्वामी की सरकार के समर्थन में वोट देने हेतु निर्देशित किया है।— Mayawati (@Mayawati) July 21, 2019
The flip flop comes amid hectic parleys in coalition circles with leaders of both Congress and JDS holding meetings, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa too met party MLAs and held discussions on the plan of action when the assembly resumes on Monday.
On July 19, Karnataka Assembly was adjourned till Monday morning, defying the two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to demonstrate the majority of the Congress-JDS government in the Vidhana Soudha on Friday itself. It comes just a day after former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and other BJP legislators staged an overnight dharna, saying they would not leave the House until a trust vote is held.
Meanwhile, the coalition government, which is on the verge of collapse following a series of resignations of rebel MLAs, moved the Supreme Court, arguing that the Governor could not interfere with the assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was on and sought clarification on its July 17 order causing hindrance in issuing whip to the legislators.
As many as 16 MLAs - 13 from Congress and three from JDS - had resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn support to the coalition government, putting the government on edge. One Congress member Ramalinga Reddy retracted, saying he would support the government.
The ruling combine's strength is 117- Congress 78, JDS 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker. Last year, the Bahujan Samaj Party had contested the Assembly polls in alliance with the JDS. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.
If the resignations of 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and 3 from JDS) are accepted or if they stay away, the ruling coalition’s tally will plummet to 101, (excluding the Speaker) reducing the government to a minority. BJP's strength is also likely to come down to 106, as Shankar, who has extended support to the saffron party, will not attend the session, according to sources, fearing poaching by Congress as Speaker has not accepted his request for his seating arrangement along with the opposition.