Buffeted by threats of instability to his government by 13 rebel MLAs, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Friday told Governor H R Bhardwaj he still commanded majority and hinted he has not been asked by him to prove it.
“I told the governor that there is no threat to my government as I enjoy majority,” Shettar told reporters here after meeting Bhardwaj who earlier hinted that he may ask the chief minister to demonstrate his strength in the assembly. Asked whether the governor told him to prove his majority, Shettar said the issue did not come up for discussion.
But Bhardwaj brought to his notice that 13 BJP MLAs had informed him about the “absence” of the Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah when they went to him to submit their resignations from assembly membership, he added. Shettar said he met the governor to convey the Cabinet decision to invite him to address the joint session of the legislature on February 4.
“He has agreed to address the joint session.” Prior to the meeting, Bhardwaj told reporters, “I have already summoned the assembly on February 4 and if I feel that this government has come into minority, then I will order him (Shettar) to prove his majority at the first instance before transacting any business.”
Pushing the government into a crisis, the 13 MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief and former BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa had gone in a delegation on Wednesday to meet Bopaiah to submit their resignation from assembly membership but in vain as he was not in station. Enraged by this, they had submitted copies of their resignation letters to Bhardwaj.
The governor said he has received letters (copies) from Yeddyurappa and also the MLAs. “In the meantime, I have dictated my orders that this is a split in the political party of the BJP. So you study the relative strength of the party in the assembly. But assembly records were not with me. Therefore I summoned the records,” he added.