Supreme Court of India (File Photo)
As Karnataka Assembly has been adjourned till Friday amid acrimony during the debate on the motion of confidence, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday decided to move Supreme Court seeking direction to the Speaker to hold trust vote by tomorrow itself, according to sources. Governoer Vajubhai Vala has also asked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to prove majority on the Assembly floor by 1:30 pm on Friday, July 19, 2019.
Early in the day, Kumaraswamy moved a motion of confidence in a bid to end the fortnight-long political drama over the fate of the Congress-JDS government in the southern state. However, within minutes after the motion was moved, the House had been adjourned by Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy amid heated exchanges between the BJP and Congress members.
Before the House was adjourned, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa declared that his party members would stay put in the House itself overnight and even till the time the trust vote was decided. "We will stay until the trust vote is decided," Yeddyurappa reiterated.
Bengaluru: BJP MLAs inside the state Assembly after the House was adjourned for the day. They are on an over night 'dharna' demanding that the Speaker replies to the Governor's letter and holds a floor test. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/GWwYRFzOfT— ANI (@ANI) July 18, 2019
The former chief minister said the confidence motion was not even discussed properly for 15 minutes and other issues were brought in by the ruling coalition members to delay the trust vote. "There has been a breach of constitutional framework," he said, adding that it was unparalleled. "To protest against this, we will sleep here itself," Yeddyurappa stated.
BS Yeddyurappa, BJP: We are demanding voting on the motion but the Chief Minister is reluctant to take it up as he has confirmed himself that he has lost confidence of the house and the people. Everybody knows Congress-JD(S) have only 98 MLAs, we have 105. #KarnatakaFloorTest pic.twitter.com/1Gs46NIuJI— ANI (@ANI) July 18, 2019
The trial of strength has been necessiated after 16 rebel MLAs - 13 from the Congress and three from JDS - have resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the ruling coalition, putting the Kumaraswamy-led government in jitters.
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 the Speaker) reducing the 14 month-old Kumaraswamy government to a minority.
This is the third motion on trust vote in the House after the 2018 Assembly polls yielded a fractured mandate with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats but failing to mobilise numbers. Yeddyurappa had resigned as chief minister after being in office for three days before facing the trust vote in May last year. Kumaraswamy who succeeded him had won the trust vote after forming the coalition government.
Congress and JDS had forged a post-poll alliance to form the government that has been wobbly from the very beginning with fissures between the two parties on various issues coming out in the open frequently.
The dismal show by the Congress and JDS in the recently held Lok Sabha elections made matters worse, exacerbating the crisis with disgruntled MLAs raising a banner of revolt against the goings-on in the coalition. In a thumping performance, the BJP had swept the polls winning 25 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats and an independent backed by it bagging another. Congress and JDS had ended up with a seat each in the state.