Karnataka 2018

Magic no: 111 — a cliffhanger likely in Karnataka

The Karnataka Assembly in session. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The new one-man Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of B.S. Yeddyurappa, which is short of a majority in the House of 221 elected members, faces an uphill task in proving its numerical strength during the floor test on Saturday.

It is seven short of the required number of 111.

Although Karnataka has a 224 seat Assembly, polls were held for 222 seats. Elections to two seats were deferred. Further there are now only 221 members as Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy was elected from two constituencies — Channapatna and Ramangaram.

The numbers
  • Total elected members: 221
  • BJP: 104
  • Congress: 78
  • JD(S): 36
  • BSP: 1
  • Others: 2
  • Congress + JD(S): 114
  • The lone BSP MLA and the two independents are likely to support the Congress + JD(S) combine

The BJP won the highest number of seats, 104, but it is seven short of the majority required to win the floor test or form the government. The Congress with 78 MLAs, the JD(S) with 36 and three others are also individually not in a position to form the government.


Before the Assembly begins its session at 11 a.m. on Saturday, all political parties are expected to hold a meeting of their respective legislature groups and issue a whip.


There are three possible scenarios that Mr Yeddyurappa could hope for to save his government.

In the first scenario, seven members of the Congress-JD (S) combine must indulge cross-voting.

Failing that, the Chief Minister could win the trust vote if 14 newly elected members do not take oath as MLAs before the vote of confidence procedure begins, thereby reducing the members in the House to 207. The BJP, with 104 members, will then have more than the half way mark.

In a third scenario, 14 members of the Congress -JD (S) combine abstain from voting when Mr. Yeddyurappa moves the confidence motion. This again reduces the number of MLAs voting to 207.

Face disqualification

However, in case seven members of the opposition either cross-vote in favour of Mr. Yeddyurappa or do not vote at all, they face disqualification for six years under the Anti-Defection Law.

Possible scenarios if the BJP has to win the floor test

Option 1Option 2Option 3
Seven members of Congress-JD(S) cross voteFourteen members have to refrain from taking oath before moving the trust voteFourteen members have to abstain from the trust vote process


(Options 2 and 3 will bring down the members present in the House to 207 and the halfway mark will be 104)

After the pro tem speaker administers the oath to the elected members, Mr. Yeddyurappa is expected to move a one-line motion to say, “This House expresses confidence in the government led by me.”

The BJP has claimed that it has the support of MLAs from other parties, while the Congress and the JD(S) strongly insist that they are united and that none of their members is in contact with the BJP. The allies have also claimed that they have the numbers to form the government.

However, the allies have also expressed fears of the BJP luring their MLAs and getting them to resign their seat or abstain from voting during the floor test.

Congress sources have said Anand Singh, three-time MLA who won from Vijayanagara (Ballari) on their party ticket has not joined the other Congress MLAs. “The BJP is using the Enforcement Directorate to threaten us. It has threatened AnandSingh as well,” JD(S) state president H.D. Kumaraswamy said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 9:57:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/magic-no-111-a-cliffhanger-likely-in-karnataka/article23930725.ece

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