Mayawati Asks BSP MLA N Mahesh To Back Ruling Coalition In Trust Vote

Mayawati Asks BSP MLA N Mahesh To Back Ruling Coalition In Trust Vote

BENGALURU: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Sunday asked her lone lawmaker in Karnataka to support the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular government as it heads for a trust vote on Monday, set to cap a rebellion by more than a dozen legislators.
Mayawati made the announcement in Hindi on Twitter, hours after N Mahesh, the BSP legislator, said he had been asked to abstain by the “high command”.

“I had my personal work so I couldn’t go to the session. My high command has told me to abstain from voting on trust motion so I won’t attend the session on Monday and Tuesday. I’ll be in my constituency,” BSP lawmaker N Mahesh said.

The Bahujan Samaj Party had contested last year’s state elections in alliance with the JDS.

Karnataka’s Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition won a two-day breather on Friday as the assembly was adjourned despite Governor Vajubhai Vala asking for a trust vote. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar called it a day after marathon speeches by coalition leaders and despite the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa saying his lawmakers would wait for a vote even if speeches went on till midnight.

The coalition, which is in danger of losing power after multiple resignations, says the governor cannot ask for a test of strength when the government has asked the Supreme Court for a clarification on an order that allowed rebel lawmakers to skip the house in defiance of a party whip.

Sixteen legislators – 13 from the Congress and three from JDS – have resigned in the last two weeks, and two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition government. One Congress rebel, Ramalinga Reddy, appears to have returned.

The ruling coalition had 118 members in the 224-member assembly. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the government will be left with 101 members. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators, which is two more than the majority mark of 105.