Sunday, Sep 24, 2023 | Last Update : 04:21 PM IST

  India   All India  16 Jul 2019  Karnataka trust vote Thursday, rebel MLAs may skip

Karnataka trust vote Thursday, rebel MLAs may skip

Published : Jul 16, 2019, 5:06 am IST
Updated : Jul 16, 2019, 5:06 am IST

The Speaker is yet to accept their resignations as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court which will hear the case again on Tuesday.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (Photo: ANI)
 Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy (Photo: ANI)

Bengaluru: In what could signal an end to the ongoing political crisis in the state after as many as 16 ruling Congress and JD(S) MLAs resigned from the Assembly, chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will move a confidence motion on Thursday in an attempt to prove that his 13-month old government still enjoys a majority in the House despite the withdrawal of support by so many legislators.

The Speaker is yet to accept their resignations as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court which will hear the case again on Tuesday.

If the coalition’s efforts to get the rebel MLAs back on board fail in the next two days, the prospects of Mr Kumaraswamy winning the trust vote look pretty bleak as the numbers are stacked against him. The JD(S)-Congress combine will have the backing of only 100 MLAs (excluding the Speaker) as against the BJP’s 107, which includes the support of two Independent MLAs.

In the event of the CM failing to prove his majority, he will have to make his exit and the ball would be in the governor Vajubhai Vala’s court who will then have the option of inviting the Opposition BJP to form the government.  

Assembly Speaker K. Ramesh Kumar announced on Monday that the confidence motion sought to be moved by Mr Kumaraswamy would be taken up at 11 am on July 18. The date was fixed after consulting both Opposition and ruling coalition leaders, Mr Kumar said and adjourned the Assembly till Thursday as demanded by the BJP.

The Opposition party maintained that the government has been reduced to a minority with a big chunk of MLAs quitting and hence opposed the conduct of House business till the trust vote.

With BJP members warning that they would boycott Assembly proceedings if any business was conducted before the confidence vote was taken up, it was decided to adjourn the Assembly till Thursday, Mr Ramesh Kumar said.

Though The government wanted to hold the announcement of the confidence motion till after the Supreme Court delivers its judgment on the disqualification and resignations of the rebel MLAs on Tuesday, but the lunar eclipse on Wednesday, which is considered inauspicious, forced it to fix the date on Monday itself, said sources.

Keeping up pressure on the Speaker and the government, the BJP sought to move a no-confidence motion against the Kumaraswamy government with its members J.C. Madhu Swamy, K.G. Bopaiah and C.M. Udasi submitting a notice, but they later agreed to the trust vote schedule. The Opposition members also wanted the trust vote to be taken up on priority but the Speaker explained that the rules and precedents give him up to 10 days to conduct a confidence vote after the notice is issued.

As many as 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — have resigned while two Independent MLAs, R. Shankar and H. Nagesh, later withdrew their support to the coalition government and announced that they will back the BJP. If all the resignations are accepted, the ruling coalition’s numbers will drop to 101 including the Speaker while the BJP has the support of 105 of its MLAs and two Independents.

Meanwhile, sources said the lone BSP MLA in the House N. Mahesh who has been supporting the coalition government, may withdraw support and back the BJP or abstain from voting during the trust vote after he approached party supremo, Mayawati and reportedly got her nod to go against the coalition.

Fervent attempts are still being made by Congress and JD(S) leaders to pacify the rebels ahead of the trust vote and secure their support. However, the plan for Mr Kumaraswamy, deputy CM Dr G. Parameshwar and some Congress leaders to fly to Mumbai and make the rebel MLAs withdraw their resignations was dropped after the rebels submitted a letter to the local DCP in Mumbai seeking police protection. In the letter, they made it clear that they would not like to meet any Congress or JD(S) leader as they felt threatened by them.  

There were also reports that the MLAs camping at a hotel in Mumbai may skip the confidence motion to be moved by Mr Kumaraswamy on July 18. The rebels are unlikely to fly to Bengaluru on Thursday when the Congress-JD(S) government faces the floor test, a source said.

In a related development, the Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear the plea of five more rebel Congress MLAs along with the pending petition of 10 legislators seeking a direction to the Assembly Speaker to accept their resignations. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, that they also be made parties to the pending petition, which is to be heard on Tuesday. The five MLAS are Anand Singh, K. Sudhakar, M.T.B. Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig.

Meanwhile, the BJP is playing it safe and has decided to keep its MLAs safely at the resort where they are at present staying, for the next two days. Except for the MLAs from Bengaluru, the remaining BJP MLAs are staying at Ramada resort situated near Yelahanka in the city.  They left for the resort in two buses, soon after the Assembly adjourned on Monday.

Speaking to this newspaper, a BJP MLA said, “we are not afraid of poaching but we have to take precautions, because the alliance partners (Congress and JD-S) have openly spoken about ‘reverse Operation Kamal’. To keep our flock together till the trust vote on Thursday, we decided to shift all our MLAs to the resort”, he explained.

The mood in the BJP camp was jubilant after all the 16 rebel MLAs decided to stick to their stand and not withdraw their resignations, making it look like the fall of the Kumaraswamy government is imminent. Party state unit chief B.S. Yeddyurappa went to the extent of claiming that he was confident of forming the government in the next four to five days.

No less confident was chief minister Kumaraswamy who asserted that his government would tide over the crisis. “I have full confidence... Why do you worry,” he told reporters.

Tags: karnataka crisis, hd kumaraswamy
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru