Fate in balance, Shettar busy with budget

12:55 PM, Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
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ShettarBangalore : With the fate of his government hanging by a thread, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is busy making preparations to present the budget proposals on February 8.

With one more MLA submitting his resignation on Friday, the total number of BJP MLAs who have put in their papers has touched 14. While 12 resignations were accepted on January 28, the resignation of Vittala Katakadonda, BJP MLA from Nagthan of Bijapur district has been set aside by Speaker K G Bopaiah on the grounds that it is not in order.

In case the resignations of Suresh and Katakadonda are accepted, then the BJP’s strength will plummet to 106 from the persent 108, which is inclusive of 105 BJP MLAs, one Independent, one nominated and the Speaker. The number required to remain in power is 106. The combined opposition strength is 102 exclusive of six Indepedents.

B Sriramulu, BSR Congress MLA, has announced that he would stand by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar in case he has to prove his majority on the floor of the House.

If Shettar has to face a no-confidence motion or move a confidence motion in case the Governor directs him to do so, then he may have to depend on independents or opposition parties to survive.

KJP Vice President K H Srinivas, when contacted by this paper, said Shettar is unlikely to present the budget because, in the next couple of days, at least four to five BJP MLAs would be resigning. However, he did not reveal the names of those who would put in their papers.

When pointed out the KJP seems to be not in a position to get more BJP MLAs to its fold, Srinivas said: “We are not in a hurry. Let the MLAs decide on their own. Our aim is to build the KJP and not pull down the Shettar government. The dwindling strength of BJP may eventually make the Governor to ask Shettar to prove his majority in the House,” he said.

Asked whether the KJP is not apprehensive of earning the wrath of Linagayts for pulling down the government, Srinivas said Shettar is neither considered a Lingayat leader nor leader of North Karnataka. “It was Yeddyurappa who was instrumental in making Shettar the CM. The BJP may blame us if it loses power. It is understandable and we are prepared to face it,” he said.

BJP MP and former speaker D B Chandre Gowda said that the Governor, while addressing the joint session of the legislature on February 4, will present the policies of the government. The Opposition parties may demand the chief minister to prove his majority. In case the government fails to survive, the budget could be presented in the Parliament.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a book launch on Gujarat elections, 2012, Gowda said it was improper to destabilise an elected government. “A bunch of 15 to 20 legislators are trying to pull down the government. It is unconstitutional.”

He also said that there is no rule that a Speaker should be in his office all the time. He need not wait indefinitely assuming that some legislators  would come and resign. A speaker is not a clerk to wait in his office, Gowda added.



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