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Mudda examines speculations ahead of Karnataka trust vote, lists ways how party can hold on to power, wonders if RJD’s Tejaswi Yadav will move court if it fails to make it

Sparking speculations ahead of the floor test in Karnataka, two Congress and four JD(S) MLAs did not reach the assembly even as swearing in of members took place and got over. As of now, Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is short of seven votes required for simple majority.

Saturday’s edition of APN’s iconic show Mudda commented on what lay ahead combining inputs from BJP spokesperson Shaina NC, Congress spokesperson Surendra Rajput, senior journalists Satish Mishra and Govind Pant Raju and advocate IB Singh. Anant Tyagi moderated the interesting discussion.

“We are the single largest party. It is our right to prove our majority on the floor of the House. There may be a video of Janardhana Reddy in which he is offering money to legislators, but we will not go by rumours. Soon, it will be clear that it is we who have the mandate of the people. Picture abhi baaki hai,” was Shaina’s opening gambit.

To which Rajput said the Supreme Court’s call for a floor test on May 19 itself proved that his party had been right in moving it and that the BJP would stoop to using unconstitutional means to win the floor test and assume power.

Mishra recalled Bhajan Lal’s defection from Janata Dal to Congress in 1980 in order to continue as chief minister of Haryana. He said that was the reason why the people punished the party and voted it out in 1985.

“If you keep the legislators absent with the help of inducements; that would be unconstitutional. If they cross the floor, it would be the same. There is talk of Yeddyurappa resigning. Have they not been able to make the requisite arrangements?” Raju observed.

How can Congress and JD(S) form a post-poll alliance when each asked for votes on the basis of condemning the other? Even their election manifestos have nothing in common. Hence every MLA should be given the mandate to vote freely, was Singh’s take.

But Rajput responded that one cannot challenge the alliance on technical grounds.

What is challenging for the BJP is that they require not seven but a sizeable chunk of either the Congress or the JD(S) MLAs, a third of their legislature party strength to be precise, in order to avoid triggering the anti-defection law of 1985 and prove majority. This is no mean task. Let the future tell the story.

—Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta

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