BJP says ready to obey K'taka governor's any constitutional direction including floor-test

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda said Wednesday his party is ready to obey the Karnataka governor's any constitutional direction, including a floor-test, as the ruling coalition inched towards a collapse following resignation of more than a dozen MLAs.

If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's strength will slip to 102 in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

"Their number has come down to 102. We are 107. I think 51 is 100 and 49 is zero as far as democracy is concerned. Certainly, we are on the right track," Gowda told reporters on the sidelines of a fertiliser ministry's event here.

Asked if the party is ready for a floor-test, he said, "It is the prerogative power of the governor to issue direction to have a floor test. Any constitutional direction given by the governor, we are certainly prepared to obey it." On Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar being prevented from entering a Mumbai hotel where rebel MLAs are holed up, Gowda said, "I am not in a position to say anything. The premises is controlled by those owning the property. How can I answer?"

Asserting that the BJP was not destabilising the Karnataka government, he said, "If they are not able to keep their house in order, why should they blame us? It is the responsibility of the Congress and the JDS to keep their MLAs together." BJP has 105 MLAs in Karnataka. "All are together and no one is going outside," he said.

Gowda rejected the allegation that his party was poaching the coalition's MLAs and stressed even the two independent MLAs have extended their support to BJP on their own.

"After the resignation, if some of the MLAs want to talk to BJP, why we should be pin pointed that we should not talk to anybody. They are not Congress or JDS members now. They have resigned and are ordinary individuals. Everybody has liberty to talk to anybody," he said.

It is totally "false" to say the BJP was tying to destabilise the state government, he said and added, "Because of their infight and displeasure of their MLAs against their leaders, it (the crisis) has happened."

Gowda said the BJP being the single-largest party tried to form the government in the initial stage but failed and is sitting in the opposition now.

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