With crucial trust vote in Karnataka, the Congress-JD(S) government locked horns against BJP during the debate in the Karnataka state assembly on Thursday.
The trust motion was moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy minutes before noon. In his speech, Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of trying to put hurdles before his government. While, the Leader of Opposition from the BJP, BS Yeddyurappa demanded a quick vote.
Congress MLAs who spoke urged the Speaker decide on the resignations or disqualification of the rebel lawmakers. [Remember the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was not mandatory for the rebel lawmakers to attend the crucial trust vote.]
Former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah informed the Speaker that from his point of view, whip needs to applied against rebel MLAs because he nor the Congress party were respondents in the Supreme Court’s interim order. The Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, told the house that he was “confused”. Adding that he had not decided if he would accept resignations or start the disqualifications procedure against the rebel MLAs.
After lunch, the Congress and JD(S) took to the well of the house to protest over the missing Congress lawmaker Shrimant Patil, who slipped out of a resort and resurfaced at a Mumbai hospital.
Congress alleged that Shrimant Patil had been lured by the BJP to Mumbai. The Speaker demanded a report on the “runaway” lawmaker from State Home Minister MB Patil.
During the fiery discussions, the speaker walked in and out of his chair multiple times.
After a BJP delegation met with Governor during the session, the Governor sent out a message to the house directing for the trust vote to be concluded before end of day. After another uproar over the Governor’s direction, the house was adjourned for the day.
Towards the end, BS Yeddyurappa and his lawmakers decided to spend the night in the assembly, as a way of protest. While, the Congress and JD(S) MLAs were whisked away to 5 star resorts.
The ruling coalition’s strength in the 224-member assembly was 118 before the crisis unfolded. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the ruling coalition’s tally will fall to 101.
*The recent development is the Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala sent a letter to the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove his majority by Friday, the 19th of July by 1.30 pm. However, it has sparked a debate if the Governor has powers to order how the speaker should conduct the house.