New Delhi/Bangalore, Oct 12: Political developments in Karnataka took a whole new turn today with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa accepting the gauntlet thrown by the Governor to face a trial of confidence on Oct 14 after the High Court gave no no relief to 16 disqualified MLAs.
"I am going to seek a vote of confidence on the 14th at 11 A M. I am confident of winning the vote of confidence on 14th," the Chief Minister told reporters hours after Governor H R Bhardwaj offered "another opportunity" to prove his majority in the Assembly on Thursday.
On yet another day of twists and turns, the Chief Minister's announcement came after a meeting of top BJP leaders at L K Advani's residence which was attended by about 100 of the 105 BJP MLAs supporting the government.
The decision also came shortly after the two-member Bench of the High Court, hearing the case of rebel MLAs, adjourned the matter to Oct 18 without giving any interim order by way of stay on Speaker K G Bopaiah's order disqualifying them.
The Union Cabinet, which was also said to be awaiting the High Court's verdict in the case, met in Delhi today but did not not discuss Karnataka developments, ministers said.
The day's developments began with Chief Minister arriving in Delhi bringing along his loyal MLAs to the capital and was involved in high-level discussions in the party.
As the first meeting at Advani's house was on came the offer from Bhardwaj, who has been attacked by the BJP as acting as an agent of the Congress.
The Governor, who had yesterday recommended to the Centre imposition of President's rule, called Monday's vote in the Assembly as "farcical" and "not not in accordance with the law".
"I am prepared to give you another opportunity to hold a fresh vote to support your contention by October 14 at 11 AM," he told a press conference in Bangalore adding he has sent a letter to the Chief Minister to "demonstratively and Constitutionally" prove his majority on the floor of the House.
He said the Monday's trial of strength by "voice vote" does not not mean anything as the votes of "ayes and noes" for the chief minister's resolution should be recorded in the proceedings along with the number of members present.
The BJP was initially reluctant to accept the challenge and hit back at him questioning his motive behind the offer. Senior leader Arun Jaitley raised objections to the Governor's letter which he said had questioned the "verdict" of the Assembly.
"The Governor has completely lost his authority and cannot be the custodian of the Constitution. He should be recalled immediately by the Centre," Jaitley said.
The mood in the BJP changed shortly later when the High Court adjourned hearing in the disqualified legislators plea for quashing the Speaker's order to Oct 18.
The court reserved orders on the writ petition of 11 BJP MLAs but gave counsel for the other 5 disqualified Independents an opportunity to amend their petition.
The counsel for government latched on to a pleading by the counsel for Independents that their case was also similar to BJP MLAs and that they had "never left the party".
At this the counsel for Independents said it was a mistake and he would like to amend the petition.
After the MLAs met Advani and other senior leaders, Yeddyurappa said he was pained to know that the Governor sent a report recommending President's rule inspite of the government winning the trust vote. PTI