Karnataka trust vote tomorrow, Assembly sleepover for BJP MLAs

BJP, MLAs, Karnataka, The Federal
BJP MLAs inside the state Assembly after the House was adjourned for the day. Photo: ANI

The Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka will face the trust vote on Friday, after Speaker Ramesh Kumar adjourned the proceedings till 11 AM tomorrow. Meanwhile, BJP MLAs have decided to sit on an over night ‘dharna’ in the state assembly demanding that the Speaker replies to the Governor’s letter and holds a floor test.

Earlier, a war of words ensued between leaders of the ruling coalition government and those from the BJP in the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday (July 18) as soon as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy moved the motion for a trust vote.

Kumaraswamy expressed faith in his government and said that he was confident of winning the trust vote. He said his focus hasn’t been to stay in power, but to work for the development of the state. He blamed the BJP for misguiding the legislators of the ruling coalition.

Quoting the tenets of the anti-defection law, Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that according to the law a member who voluntarily resigns from his post should be disqualified. He sought clarifications on the Supreme Court’s recent interim order that said that the 15 rebel MLAs will not be compelled to be a part of the ongoing session of the house. Siddaramaiah said the apex court’s order infringes on the rights of a political party to issue a whip under laws of the constitution.

He pleaded the Speaker to put off the confidence motion until his ‘point of order’ is resolved. The Assembly was adjourned until 3 PM on his point of order. Reports say the Speaker will meet the advocate general before the Assembly reconvenes after the lunch break.

He was interrupted by BJP MLAs who alleged that he was delaying the floor test by stretching his speech.

Answering Siddaramaiah’s question, Speaker Ramesh Kumar replied that he has nothing to say about the interim order and that a member who chooses to stay away from the Assembly proceedings should inform the same to him after which he will take a call on the matter.

The floor test in the Karnataka Assembly may put an end to the political uncertainty of the last two weeks. Since a discussion is on over the motion of confidence, the voting will take place only after its conclusion, which could even extend beyond Thursday.