Bengaluru: “I request you to prove your majority on the floor of the House on or before 1:30 pm tomorrow (Friday),” said Governor Vajubhai Vala in his letter to Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy yesterday.
High drama ensued in the Assembly after Kumaraswamy moved the confidence motion. Twenty legislators, including Congress MLA Shreemant Patil and BSP MLA Mahesh, did not attend the session. Repeated disruption and slogans, such as “Down Down BJP” and “down down operation Kamala,” were raised by the Congress, before the assembly was adjourned till today.
Meanwhile, the BJP unit in the State accused the ruling government of deliberately prolonging the trust vote to save the government. BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa said he was annoyed over the delay and that his party members would stay overnight until the trust vote was decided. He then sent his members to meet the Governor to urge the Speaker to conclude the trust vote.
Kumaraswamy insisted that doubts had been created about the Congress-JDS coalition and it had to be brought before the country. “We have to tell the truth,” he said. Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah the confidence motion deferred till the speaker decided on the issue of whip in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict.
on the political crisis in the state. Siddaramaiah said the 15 rebel MLAs were influenced by the apex court order that they can abstain from attending the assembly proceedings and asked speaker to give a ruling on the fate of whip issued by him as CLP leader. “If this motion is taken up, then it will not be constitutional. It violates the constitutional provisions. I request you to defer it. I want your ruling on this point of order,” he told the Speaker. The speaker then said he would consult the advocate general and adjourned the House for lunch. With the chief minister yet to make his speech on the motion, the House went about discussing the issue of the whip, amid acrimony between the treasury benches and BJP members on the political turmoil in the state.
As MLA Shreemant Patil was absent at the session, senior Congress minister D K Shivakumar said they would produce documents to show that Patil was forcibly admitted to the hospital to skip assembly. The speaker then directed Home Minister M B Patil to contact the family of the MLA and report back to him. However, Patil, in a video message on a social networking site later, said no one had kidnapped him. He said he had developed chest pain due to which he was admitted at a hospital in Mumbai where he had gone for some personal work.
The ruling coalition’s strength in the House is 117– Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.
If the resignations of the 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and 3 from JDS) are accepted, the ruling coalition’s tally will plummet to 101, (excluding speaker) reducing the 14 month-old Kumaraswamy government to a minority.