After putting the ball back in the court of the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, the ten rebel MLAs camped in Mumbai were spotted on Saturday leaving for a visit to Shirdi from Mumbai Airport. Sources report that a private jet has been allegedly booked for the visit. The MLAs have boarded the jet from gate no.8 at the Mumbai airport, as per sources.
Earlier on Friday, the Congress-JD(S) coalition had been pushing for a trust vote to be held on Monday in the Vidhan Soudha (State Assembly) floor. Meanwhile, Speaker Kumar denied getting any demand from the government for a trust vote. This comment is in contrast to Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy's comment that he was ready for a trust vote and as per sources, urged the Speaker to move for a trust vote.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ordered the Speaker to not make a decision before July 16 when it will decide on larger Constitutional issues with regards to the plea filed by the rebel MLAs over Kumar not accepting their resignations. As per sources, the BJP wants to wait until Tuesday till the Supreme Court decides on the case before moving on the no-confidence motion. This is since, as per the law, a no-confidence motion can be moved only every six months.
On last Saturday, 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had resigned including 1 Independent. The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength came down to 117 after (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-1) after Nagesh withdrew his support from the government, besides the Speaker. Adding to this if the 3 MLAs resignations are accepted, the government's numbers will go down to 101.
If the resignations of the 16 Congress-JD(S) MLAs are accepted by the Speaker, the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s numbers will come down to 101, besides the vote of the Speaker. If the Speaker accepts the 16 resignations, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will come down to 209 out of 225, which will leave the half-way mark to 104. As the saffron party has 107 MLAs in its support now, it can call a trust vote and form a government in the state.