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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

‘Not important if coalition survives, but...’ Karnataka CM at trust debate

The state has been simmering since July 7 when 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — resigned, pushing the Congress-JD(S) coalition government to the brink of collapse.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2019 14:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Karnataka, July 18 (ANI): Chief Minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy speaks before the trust motion debate at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
Karnataka, July 18 (ANI): Chief Minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy speaks before the trust motion debate at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
         

The Karnataka assembly on Thursday began debate on the trust motion moved by HD Kumaraswamy who alleged there was a ‘conspiracy to weaken’ his government. The vote is unlikely to happen today as the JD(S)-Congress combine alone has 26 speakers to back the motion.

(Read live updates of Karnataka crisis here)

“It is not important if the coalition survives, but we must discuss this conspiracy to weaken democracy, the embattled chief minister said.

The state has been simmering since July 7 when 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — resigned, pushing the Congress-JD(S) coalition government to the brink of collapse. This was followed by several twists and turns with rebel MLAs holed up in Mumbai and Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar ‘deliberating’ on their resignations. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that neither the Speaker can be forced to take early decision nor the rebel MLAs be forced to attend the session.

 Also Watch: Karnataka crisis: SC says Speaker free to decide

Read: After many failed bids, JDS leader enters Mumbai hotel, meets rebel MLAs

Moving the motion, CM Kumaraswamy said: “I have self respect and so do my ministers. How can I live with this and not discuss this? I have to make clarifications. Who is responsible for destabilising this government?”

The discussion on the vote of confidence started around 11 am and apart from the MLAs in Mumbai hotel, BSP MLA N Mahesh, an ally of the coalition, was missing from the House.

Another Congress MLA Shrimant Patil who was staying with other legislators at Windflower Prakruthi Resort in Bengaluru, reached Mumbai last night.

Meanwhile, Congress leaders engaged in number crunching believe that only two of the rebel MLAs need to vote for them for the government to stay afloat.

Congress’s rebel MLA Ramalinga Reddy has already announced his decision to vote for the coalition and the party is expecting Roshan Baig, Anand Singh and Sudhakar to also vote for the ruling coalition.

This would bring the numbers at par to 105 each side in the House of 224 (one member is nominated). The ruling coalition would then need only two of the rebels to vote for them or two BJP MLAs to cross vote, according to the source.

Read: Division in Congress over court ruling on Karnataka rebels

Kumaraswamy on Wednesday issued a whip to all 37 MLAs of JD(S) including three rebel legislators Narayana Gowda, Gopalaiah and H Vishwanath to be present in the Assembly at the time of trust vote.

Kumaraswamy has warned that if MLAs do not attend the House and of if they vote against the party whip even after attending the session on the day of trust voting, action will be initiated under the rule of Anti-Defection Law and that MLA will be disqualified from his post.

Kumaraswamy had on sought permission from Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to face a floor test during the ongoing session of the Assembly.

The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113.

Also, after many failed attempts JD(S) leader Syed Shahid on Thursday managed to enter the Mumbai hotel where the rebel MLAs are holed up and held talks with them.

First Published: Jul 18, 2019 10:02 IST

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