Karnataka’s BJP government to seek trust vote on Friday

June 3rd, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 3 (IANS) Karnataka’s newly elected assembly begins its first session Wednesday, and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first government in the south will seek the confidence of the house Friday. Governor Rameshwar Thakur Tuesday relented from his insistence on not addressing the joint sitting of the legislature till Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa proved his majority in the house.

Yeddyurappa met Thakur Tuesday morning and convinced him that under the constitution he has to address the session when a new government takes office.

The governor’s refusal had angered the BJP. Its Karnataka unit chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda had accused the governor of acting at the behest of the Congress.

“The governor has agreed to address the joint sitting of the legislature on the morning of June 6,” minister S. Suresh Kumar, who accompanied Yeddyurappa to the meeting with Thakur, told reporters.

“Under article 176 of the constitution it is mandatory for the governor to address the joint session when a new government assumes office,” Kumar said.

The legislators will take oath on the first day of the session Wednesday. The speaker is to be elected the next day. Yeddyurappa will move the one-line confidence motion Friday after the governor addresses the joint sitting.

The discussion on the motion and the voting is likely to conclude the same day.

The BJP won 110 seats in the 225-member house in last month’s three-phase polls and secured the support of six independents to achieve the majority. Yeddyurappa leads a 30-member ministry, which includes five of the six independents. The ministry was sworn in May 30.

Yeddyurappa has not allotted portfolios to his ministers in view of the rumbling in the party over denial of ministerial berths to a few senior leaders.

This includes Jagdish Shettar, a four-time legislator from Dharwad in north Karnataka.

Shettar had refused to accept the speaker’s post but appears to have softened his position following talks with party general secretary and Karnataka unit in-charge Arun Jaitley in New Delhi Monday.

“I have explained my position to my party leaders and will abide by their decision,” he told reporters in New Delhi after meeting Jaitley in the presence H.N. Ananth Kumar, also a general secretary and a former central minister from Karnataka.

Another reason holding up the portfolio allocation is the demand from several ministers for key ministries like home, power, mines, urban development and irrigation.

The party’s dependence on the independents, dissidence in the party over denial of ministerial berths and lobbying for key ministries have forced BJP to put off the allocation of ministries until after Yeddyurappa wins the trust vote.

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