Amid pandemonium, Yeddyurappa wins trust vote after Speaker disqualifies 16 MLAs, including 5 independents

Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Monday recommended to President Pratibha Patil that President's rule be imposed in the State and the 13th Legislative Assembly kept under suspended animation.

This followed a crucial motion of confidence won by the Bharatiya Janata Party government.

Violent behaviour

This is the first time the Karnataka Assembly is witnessing a high level of unruly and violent behaviour by legislators. They engaged in fisticuffs with each other, the police and marshals, besides freely trading unprintable verbal abuse.

The motion of confidence, moved by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa amid pandemonium, was adopted by voice vote, with Speaker K.G. Bopaiah finding it difficult to conduct the proceedings. The Opposition too did not ask for a division of the vote in all the clamour and confusion.

That there would be a showdown between the ruling party and the Opposition during the trust vote was expected once the Speaker, who had served notice on 11 BJP legislators on October 7, disqualified 16 legislators, including five independents (who were associate members of the BJP), under the anti-defection law.

The Speaker based his order on the view, for which he said he had documentary proof, that the independent members had defected to the BJP.

Congress, JD(S) MLAs complain to Governor

While BJP leaders distributed sweets on their victory, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) legislators rushed to the Raj Bhavan to complain to the Governor against what they termed the unconstitutional methods adopted by the Speaker in conducting the floor test. They demanded the dismissal of the government. The Governor heard them even as legislators were paraded before him.

Issue taken to court

In another development, the disqualified legislators moved the Karnataka High Court and sought the revival of their membership of the Assembly. The case, being heard by a Special Bench that comprises among others Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, has been adjourned for Tuesday.

The BJP had demanded the recall of the Governor who it said had functioned like the leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Yeddyurappa told journalists that he would order an enquiry to ascertain the source of funding for the rebel BJP MLAs to topple the government.

The BJP said it would move the court if President's rule was imposed and go before the “people's court.”

The 225-member Assembly has completed just 28 months of its term and is left with another 32 months for elections.

Parliament has to ratify any proclamation for President's rule (as prescribed under Article 356 (3) of the Constitution) for it to continue beyond 60 days after the proclamation is notified.

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