Karnataka govt defies Guv’s deadline, assembly adjourned till Monday

Bengaluru: The Karnataka ruling government ignored Governor’s deadline for the second time yesterday as the assembly was adjourned till Monday. Speaker Ramesh Kumar adjourned the assembly saying that the motion of confidence would be concluded on Monday and there that it wont be prolonged further.

Governor Vajubhai Vala had set the deadline to conclude the confidence motion by 1.30 pm yesterday. The House was then adjourned till 3 pm amid ruckus. But the JDS Congress coalition government failed to demonstrate its majority. In a face-off, Kumaraswamy questioned the governor’s power to issue a deadline. The CM even citing a Supreme Court verdict that a governor cannot act as ombudsman of the legislature.

Setting his second deadline, the governor said he was receiving complaints of horse trading and that the government has lost its majority confidence of the house. He ordered the JDS-Congress combine to complete the floor test by 1.30 on Friday. Kumaraswamy slammed the governor for talking about horse-trading of legislators now when the same was happening for the last several days. He further accused Vala of giving police protection to the the dissenting MLAs. “If the governor had taken action when the MLAs resigned, will all these special aircraft have flown. Governor gave police protection to MLAs until they left,” kumaraswamy charged.

Moving the confidence motion on Thursday, the CM said 25 to 26 members had to still speak and requested the speaker to give them time. Also debate on when the trust vote process should be completed went on at length.

At the end of the session, State BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa stood up and asked for division on the confidence motion. He insisted the CM to make it clear whether he would obey the governor’s directive or not. Towards the end, the Speaker said lot of discussion has happened and he wanted to close it, to this the CM said preliminary submission have been done and the process can concluded on Monday. The Speaker said, “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion; I cannot be guilty of dragging proceedings.”

Meanwhile, BJP leader Suresh Kumar said sanctity of trust vote would be lost if dragged on and insisted the process be completed Friday itself. Senior ministers R V Deshpande and Krishna Byre Gowda asserted that once the motion was moved, it was the property of the House and no one can insist to do things in a specific way.

Congress members accused the BJP of misusing the governor’s office to conspire against the government. They raised slogans such as “Go back governor.”

Kumaraswamy levelled allegations against the BJP saying, his party MLAs were offered Rs 40-50 crore to lure them. JDS MLA Srinivas Gowda alleged he was offered Rs 5 crore bribe by BJP to defect to bring down the government. Minister Sa Ra Mahesh alleged Vishwanath (JDS former state president) had told him that he needs money as he has election-related loan of Rs 28 crore. Krishna Byre Gowda alleged hundreds of crores of rupees were being pumped in to bring down the government. Kumaraswamy asked BJP why it is in a hurry to end the trust vote debate in one day if it was sure of its numbers.

NT Bureau