Bangalore, Oct 13: The ruling BJP braced itself for a second trust vote in four days tomorrow but in a new twist to the political drama the Karnataka High Court today ordered that the outcome of Assembly proceedings will be subject to its verdict on the disqualification of MLAs.
The disqualified MLAs--11 of BJP and five Independents-- will also not be able to participate in the floor test for Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, whose government may scrape through given the present numbers in the Assembly.
However, the suspense over the fate of BJP's first government in the south will remain even after the vote.
Lawyers said that today's court order may mean that if the Court on Monday upholds the Speaker's decision on disqualification then the status quo after tomorrow's vote may remain. But if the Speaker's decision is overturned, then it could force another floor test in the Assembly.
The court had reserved orders on the petition of the 11 disqualified BJP MLAs till Monday when it will also hear the pleas of Independents.
The high court rejected both the pleas of the five independent MLAs for staying their disqualification and allowing them to vote in sealed covers to be kept with the Registrar of the court and ordered that tomorrow's trust vote would be subject to the "final decision" on the writ petition filed by the five independent MLAs.
The order by a Division bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar came in the wake of the urgent interim applications filed by the independent MLAS.
The second trial of strength for Yeddyurappa, who won a controversial trust vote on Monday, comes following Governor H R Bhardwaj's direction yesterday for a fresh vote.
The first saffron government in the South, which was reduced to a minority after 16 MLAs, including 11 of the BJP, withdrew support, may barely cross the 105 magic mark with the support of about 106 MLAs while the Opposition--JD(S) 73 and Congress 28--has the support of 101 in a House with a reduced strength of 208. The original strength is 224.
One Independent MLA, who was with the Opposition on Monday, could now be backing BJP, sources in BJP claimed.
Yeddyurappa went into consultations with his party senior leaders and MLAs charting out the steps that should be adopted during the trust vote.
The BJP enhanced its strength to 106 after it brought the lone independent Varthur Prakash from Kolar to its fold. Prakash had recently distanced himself from BJP and even claimed that Yeddyurappa government would be ousted.
Opposition Congress and JDS, disappointed overe Governor H R Bhardwaj decision to give a fresh chance to Yeddyurappa to prove his majority, also engaged themselves in hectic parleys and even met the Governor this evening.
Going by the numerical strength of the parties in the House, BJP is now ahead of opposition Congress and JDS strength and unlikely to encounter any problem in demonstrating its majority.
Police have also thrown a tight security cover in and around Vidhana soudha and the government has declared half a day holiday to its staff in the secretariat tomorrow. PTI