Bengaluru: Capping weeks of uncertainty, the fate of the fragile Congress-Janata Dal Secular government in Karnataka could be decided on Monday with a trust vote in the assembly. While Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy appealed to the rebels to return and “expose” the BJP, the defiant legislators ruled out attending the session. Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa exuded confidence that “tomorrow will be the last day of the Kumaraswamy government” and said the chief minister was just trying to buy time. The coalition received some minor relief when Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati directed her party’s lone legislator in Karnataka N Mahesh to vote in favour of the trust motion.
Here are the top 10 developments in the Karnataka trust vote:
- Amid reports that the government was still trying to prolong the discussion on the confidence motion to delay the floor test in a hope of some kind of relief from the Supreme Court, Mr Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he was “not trying to cling onto power”. “My only intention of seeking time for debate on trust vote is to let the entire country know how the BJP, which talks of morality, is trying to subvert the very principles of democracy as well as constitution,” he said in a statement, and offered to hold talks with rebels legislators to resolve their issues.
- But the rebel lawmakers, hunkered down in a Mumbai hotel, asserted they would not return and rejected allegations they were being held captive. “We thought this government will do good to the state but it did not happen. There is no question of our attending the assembly session tomorrow,” rebel JDS legislator K Gopalaiah said in a video, flanked by 10 other legislators.
- With no voting on the confidence motion despite two deadlines on Friday set by Governor Vajubhai Vala, two Independent legislators, who withdrew support to the Congress-JDS government, are going to move the Supreme Court asking it to order a floor test.
- Senior minister and Karnataka Congress troubleshooter D K Shivakumar claimed HD Kumaraswamy has told the Congress that it can appoint any leader of its choice as Chief Minister to save the coalition, news agency PTI reported. There was, however, no confirmation from the JDS that it has made such a proposal though there were reports earlier that such a suggestion by HD Kumaraswamy was shot down by his father and JDS chief HD Deve Gowda.
- HD Kumaraswamy and the Congress had moved the Supreme Court on Friday, accusing the governor of interfering with the assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was underway and sought clarification on its July 17 order, which they said, stopped them from issuing a whip to the legislators.
- BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa hit back at Mr Kumaraswamy questioning where was his morality when the JDS and Congress came together to satiate the greed for power after fighting elections against each other.
- The assembly was adjourned till Monday after the Governor’s 1:30 pm deadline and the second one to conclude the confidence motion process by Friday itself was ignored, prolonging the climax to the power struggle that has been on for the last three weeks.
- However, before adjourning the House on Friday, Speaker Ramesh Kumar extracted a “commitment” from the coalition that the motion of confidence would reach finality on Monday, and made it clear that it would not be prolonged further under any circumstances.
- Sixteen legislators – 13 from the Congress and three from JDS – have resigned in the last two weeks, and two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition government. One Congress rebel, Ramalinga Reddy, appears to have returned. However, Srimanth Patil, a Congress legislator made his way to Mumbai and his support to the coalition is unlikely. He hasn’t resigned and says he is unwell.
- The ruling coalition had 118 members in the 224-member assembly. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the government will be left with 101 members. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators, which is two more than the majority mark of 105.
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