Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Wednesday said his party is ready to obey the Karnataka governor's any constitutional direction, including a floor-test, as the ruling coalition inched towards a collapse following resignation of more than a dozen MLAs.
The state government has plunged into a crisis after 14 dissident MLAs -- 11 from the Congress and three from the Janaat Dal-Secular -- resigned and two independents withdrew support.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's strength will slip to 102 in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.
"Their number has come down to 102. We are 107. I think 51 is 100 and 49 is zero as far as democracy is concerned. Certainly, we are on the right track," Gowda told reporters on the sidelines of a fertiliser ministry's event in New Delhi.
Asked if the party is ready for a floor-test, he said, "It is the prerogative power of the governor to issue direction to have a floor test. Any constitutional direction given by the governor, we are certainly prepared to obey it."
On Karnataka minister D K Shivakumar being prevented from entering a Mumbai hotel where rebel MLAs are holed up, Gowda said, "I am not in a position to say anything. The premises is controlled by those owning the property. How can I answer?"
Asserting that the BJP was not destabilising the Karnataka government, he said, "If they are not able to keep their house in order, why should they blame us? It is the responsibility of the Congress and the JDS to keep their MLAs together."
The BJP has 105 MLAs in Karnataka. "All are together and no one is going outside," he said.
Gowda rejected the allegation that his party was poaching the coalition's MLAs and stressed even the two independent MLAs have extended their support to BJP on their own.
"After the resignation, if some of the MLAs want to talk to BJP, why we should be pin pointed that we should not talk to anybody. They are not Congress or JDS members now. They have resigned and are ordinary individuals. Everybody has liberty to talk to anybody," he said.
It is totally "false" to say the BJP was tying to destabilise the state government, he said and added, "Because of their infight and displeasure of their MLAs against their leaders, it (the crisis) has happened."
Gowda said the BJP being the single-largest party tried to form the government in the initial stage but failed and is sitting in the opposition now.
Meanwhile, the BJP in Karnataka demonstrated outside the Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday to demand that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy step down from office, claiming his government has lost majority after 14 MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance submitted their resignations.
Several state BJP leaders, including former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa, took part in the protest led by state president B S Yeddyurappa in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue at the Vidhana Soudha.
The former chief minister has been holding a series of meetings with party leaders for the last couple of days regarding the ongoing political developments and BJP's plan of action.
During the protest, Yeddyurappa asked Kumaraswamy to resign immediately and make way for BJP to form the government.
"The assembly session starts from July 12. How will you have the session with no majority Mr Kumaraswamy?" he asked, adding that Kumaraswamy should voluntarily resign.
"We expected your father and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda will advice (you to resign)," Yeddyurappa said.