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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Amid absent MLAs, blistering attacks, a crestfallen CM and victorious opposition

By 1pm, Congress’s main trouble shooter D K Shiva Kumar took the floor and hit out at the BJP. When he warned the rebel MLAs that there would be consequences under law, Shettar intervened to clarify that Supreme Court had given them protection.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2019 01:17 IST
Venkatesha Babu
Venkatesha Babu
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa with his party MLAs show victory sign after HD Kumaraswamy lost the vote of confidence
BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa with his party MLAs show victory sign after HD Kumaraswamy lost the vote of confidence (Photo: PTI)
         

After defying two deadlines by the governor, Karnataka’s Congress- Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government was defeated on Tuesday. When the House was adjourned on Monday night, speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had said the House would convene at 10am on Tuesday and the trust vote taken before 6pm.

However on Tuesday morning, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ensured all its MLAs were seated in the House by 10am, there were barely 10 legislators from the ruling coalition present. There was much apprehension in the BJP on what strategy the coalition partners would use to postpone the trust vote again. BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa rued the absence of coalition MLAs and demanded that the trust vote be immediately taken up. This was countered by Congress’s Priyank Kharge who said calling for voting without discussion was incorrect.

Former BJP CM Jagadish Shettar then attacked the alliance partners. “Look how lightly the coalition is taking this. The people are disgusted with this effort to drag on things,” he said. However, senior JDS leader Shivalinge Gowda requested that the House be adjourned for 30 minutes so that MLAs could assemble. This was opposed by senior BJP leader K S Eshwarappa.

The speaker then called Congress leader UT Khader to address the House. BJP leader Madhuswamy objected to some of his remarks on demonetisation. Many coalition MLAs, who had by then entered the House, came to Khader’s aid. After Khader two other junior coalition MLAs attacked the BJP. Through this, CM Kumaraswamy was absent.

By 1pm, Congress’s main trouble shooter D K Shiva Kumar took the floor and hit out at the BJP. When he warned the rebel MLAs that there would be consequences under law, Shettar intervened to clarify that Supreme Court had given them protection.

Next the Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah spoke for nearly 80 minutes, blaming the BJP for the coalition’s problems. The CM’s elder brother H D Revanna, who is also a minister in his cabinet, then spoke for about 20 minutes. Finally, Kumaraswamy began his speech at 5.40pm. He spoke for the next 100 minutes.

In between, the speaker said he was bound to complete the vote on Tuesday. Ramesh Kumar even flourished what he said was a resignation letter in case there was any further postponement. After the CM abruptly concluded his speech, finally at around 7.20 pm, the speaker commended the trust vote motion for voting.

It was noticed that in spite of directions given by Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati, its lone legislator Mahesh was not present. Nor were the independents or the rebel MLAs.

After the speaker initially called for a voice vote, Yeddyurappa asked for division (physical counting of votes). At 7.37pm, the speaker announced that the motion had been defeated by 105 votes against and 99 for. The speaker did not cast his vote though his deputy did in favour of the motion.

First Published: Jul 24, 2019 00:23 IST

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