Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks CM HD Kumaraswamy to prove majority before 6 pm
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala sent a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove his government’s majority before 6 pm on Friday. The letter was written after the Karnataka Assembly defied the governor’s trust vote deadline and continued the session even after 1:30 pm. Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said “unless the discussion is complete, you cannot press for division (of votes for floor test).”
He had also said that the onus lies with Kumaraswamy as the Governor's order was sent to him, so he has to decide whether the order has to be followed or not.”
A day ahead of the trust vote, senior Congress lawmaker Ramalinga Reddy said he would withdraw his resignation, giving some relief to the ruling coalition. 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.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress moved the Supreme Court on Friday contending that its July 17 order on the resignation of 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs was coming in the way of the party issuing whip to its legislators in the ongoing trust vote. The application filed by Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao sought clarification on the order, which said the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the ongoing Assembly proceedings, saying that the direction compromises with the party's right to issue whip. It said the apex court's order "whittles down" the power of a political party to issue whip to its MLAs as it has a constitutional right to do so and the court can't restrict that.
(With PTI inputs)