Karnataka Assembly floor test: Angry BJP to spend night in House

By: |
July 19, 2019 12:45 AM

In light of the Supreme Court direction a day earlier which barred the dissenting MLAs from being compelled to attend the trust vote, the Speaker sought to consult the state Advocate General if the whip issued to the MLAs would be valid or not.

Karnataka Assembly,Karnataka floor test,Karnataka news, Karnataka trust vote, Karnataka political crisis, BJP, congress, Yeddyurappa, india newsThe ruling combine’s strength is 117— Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.

Amid acrimonious exchanges over a confidence motion moved Thursday by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, the Karnataka assembly was adjourned till Friday morning after Speaker K R Ramesh sought time to seek legal advice on the issue of whip imposed by the ruling Congress and JD(S) to rebel MLAs.

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa declared that his party members would stay in the House overnight and till the time the trust vote was decided. He 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… To protest against this, we will sleep here itself,” he said.

In light of the Supreme Court direction a day earlier which barred the dissenting MLAs from being compelled to attend the trust vote, the Speaker sought to consult the state Advocate General if the whip issued to the MLAs would be valid or not.

He turned to legal advice after Congress leader Siddaramaiah moved a point of order saying powers of political parties to control their legislators — as provided by the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law) — would be affected if the Supreme Court order is interpreted as barring issuance of the whip to the 15 rebel MLAs.

“Please decide on whether they are members or not. Without deciding it is not correct to go ahead with the trust vote,” Congress law minister Krishna Byregowda said. “I am worried because I am a respondent and I am the one who will have to make a decision on the whip violation,” the Speaker said.

The ruling combine’s strength 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 JD(S) — are accepted, the ruling coalition’s tally will come down to 101, (excluding the Speaker), reducing the 14 month-old Kumaraswamy government to a minority.

From the start of proceedings, there was high drama. Kumaraswamy moved a one-line motion, saying the House expressed confidence in his government. A total of 20 MLAs did not turn up, including 17 from the ruling coalition, 12 of whom are holed up in a hotel in Mumbai.

Congress MLA Shreemant Patil too was not seen in the House amid reports he has been admitted to a hospital. PTI adds: BSP MLA Mahesh, on whose support the coalition was counting, also did not show up, amid reports he was keeping away as he has not received any directions from the party leader Mayawati on the stand to be taken on the trust vote.

Seeking the trust vote, Kumaraswamy said the rebel MLAs had cast doubts about the coalition government across the country and “we have to tell the truth.” “The entire nation is watching the developments unfolding in Karnataka,” he said. As soon as the motion was moved, Yeddyurappa stood up and said the trust vote process should be completed in a single day.

“The Leader of Opposition seems to be in a hurry,” Kumaraswamy taunted Yeddyurappa. As the Chief Minister sought the trust vote, CLP leader Siddaramaiah pressed for deferring the confidence motion till the Speaker decided on the issue of the whip. Sensing an alleged attempt to delay the vote,BJP rushed a delegation to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala to direct the Speaker to conclude the trust vote process Thursday itself. Acting swiftly, the Governor asked the Speaker to complete the process of vote of confidence moved by the end of the day.

In his message, he said, “The motion of confidence moved by the Chief Minister of Karnataka is in consideration before the House today. The Chief Minister is expected to maintain the confidence of the House at all times during his tenure. I, therefore, send this message to the House to consider completing the proceedings of the House by the end of the day.”

Vala’s message under Article 175 of the Constitution added that completing the proceedings by the end of the way will uphold the highest traditions of democracy and parliamentary practice. The Speaker read out the message and said “I have brought it to the notice of the House.”

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