BJP mulling no-confidence motion against Speaker, JDS rules out supporting Yeddyurappa government
(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

Bengaluru: A day after it came to power in Karnataka, the BJP is contemplating bringing a no-confidence motion against assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, if he does not voluntarily vacate the post, party sources said on Saturday.

The message has been discreetly conveyed to Kumar to give up the post, which is conventionally held by a member from the ruling party, the sources said, ahead of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa moving the confidence motion in the assembly on Monday to prove his majority. "We will move the no-confidence motion against the Speaker if he himself does not resign," a senior state BJP leader told PTI requesting anonymity.

"Our first agenda is to win the confidence motion and get the finance bill passed on Monday. We will wait and see whether the Speaker steps down on his own," he added The BJP leader sought to know how there could be a Speaker from the opposition party. "Once we win the confidence of the House, we will go ahead with moving no-confidence motion," he said. In a sudden turn of events, Yeddyurappa staked claim and formed the government on Friday, barely 24 hours after the Speaker disqualified three rebel MLAs while keeping the decision pending on 14 others.

The Speaker had said that he would take a decision in a couple of days on the pleas for disqualification of the remaining MLAs. A raft of resignations by the rebel MLAs had brought down the coalition government when it lost the vote of confidence in the assembly on Tuesday and put the BJP on the saddle. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda Saturday ruled out any support to the BJP government headed by Yeddyurappa, saying his party would play the role of a "constructive" opposition.

Gowda made the party position clear a day after a section of JD(S) legislators asked former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to extend support to the BJP government. Kumaraswamy rubbished the reports about JD(S) extending support to BJP. He tweeted, "I have gone through the baseless report about (JDS) developing relationship with BJP. Our party MLAs and workers should not give ear to such rumours. We will build the party by serving the people. Our pro-people struggle is continuous."

After a meeting of JDS MLAs on Friday, party senior leader G T Devegowda had said "Some have suggested that we should sit in opposition, while some legislators are of the opinion that we should support the BJP from outside." "We are going to play a constructive role. As a regional party we will oppose where we have to oppose. That's all. If you (Yeddyurappa) do something good for the state, we will welcome it," Deve Gowda told reporters here.

The JDS patriarch said, "There is no big deal in saying so (support to BJP). His (H T Devegowda's) intention was that the finance bill was passed (before July 31) because it was a budget presented by Kumaraswamy." Gowda explained that G T Devegowda intended to say that the JD(S) would not oppose every move of BJP just for the heck of it. "The pain of losing power within 14 months instead of 60 months (five years) is evident among Congress and the JD(S) leaders. Hence, G T Devegowda expressed his views. What's the big deal in it? Isn't it his right to express views?" he said.

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Saturday said the government of the BJP in Karnataka was not "constitutionally or ethically formed" and called it "a victory of horse-trading." Siddaramaiah, who is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, accused the BJP of "misusing" the office of Governor to form the government. "Yeddyurappa taking oath itself is against the constitution by misusing the office of the governor though they don't have the majority," he told reporters here.

Explaining the equation, he said the strength of the Assembly after the disqualification of three MLAs was 221 and the halfway mark was 111. However, the BJP has only 105. Asserting that the BJP has to give the list of 111 MLAs, Siddaramaiah underlined the fact that the names of rebel MLAs camping in Mumbai cannot be given as they were from Congress and the JD(S). "This (BJP's) is not a constitutionally or ethically formed government. How will they (BJP) prove majority then? Has it got any recognition within the framework of constitution?" Siddaramaiah asked.

He said the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government would not have collapsed if the Congress and JD(S) MLAs were not confined. "They (BJP) confined our MLAs illegally by luring them and now they (BJP) are saying it is the victory of people. No, it is not the victory of people. It is the victory of horse-trading," Siddaramaiah said. The former chief minister claimed that two rebel MLAs had called him regarding their disqualification but he did not receive their calls.

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