All our MLAs will be present to vote: Karnataka Congress leader

Bengaluru: Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar on Saturday said MLAs of his party would be present in the Karnataka Assembly where the BJP government led by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa faces a crucial trust vote.

“Two Congress legislators Pratapgouda Patil and Anand Singh are yet to join us in the House. We are in touch with them and they will be joining us soon for the trust vote,” Shivakumar told reporters at the state secretariat building.

The remarks came amidst reports that the two Karnataka Congress legislators were missing ahead of the floor test at 4 p.m.

The number of party’s MLAs was intact, he said. He said Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) G. Somasekhara Reddy was also not present in the House yet.

“We are certain that the BJP will not win the trust vote,” the Congress leader said.

The 15th state Legislative Assembly’s first session is underway since 11 a.m. with the newly-elected legislators taking oath.

The oath-taking of all the legislators will be completed before 4 p.m. for pro tem Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to conduct the floor test to ascertain if the Chief Minister has a majority in the hung House, as directed by the Supreme Court on Friday.

Of the 222 seats where election was held on May 12, the BJP won 104, Congress 78, JD-S, 37 and one each by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) and an Independent.

With one of BJP’s legislators, Bopaiah being nominated as the pro tem Speaker and JD-S state president H.D. Kumaraswamy winning two constituencies he contested from and allowed to cast only one vote, the effective strength of the House becomes 220.

The BJP is still seven short of the 111 mark required to prove the majority.

Though Governor Vajubhai R. Vala directed Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the House within 15 days from the date of assumption of office as the Chief Minister on May 17, a three-judge bench of the top court ordered the floor test on Saturday, rejecting his plea for a week’s time to prove his majority.