Karnataka floor test: Kumaraswamy loses trust vote, has some advice for rival BSY about CM chair
HD Kumaraswamy, who led the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular government for nearly 14 months, as Karnataka chief minister lost the confidence motion that he had moved after 16 lawmakers from the ruling coalition resigned this month. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said the confidence motion had received 99 votes and was opposed by 105 MLAs.
An emotional Kumaraswamy said he had been running a government that was speculated to collapse right from the point that it was formed. He also alluded to an opposition-driven social media campaign that targeted him for staying at a luxury five-star hotel.
At one point, HD Kumaraswamy said he had retained the room because he considered it lucky.
Watch | Kumaraswamy loses trust vote in Assembly; Congress-JD(S) coalition falls
“When I saw the reports against me, I wondered if I should be the chief minister. I’m hurt, and with great happiness, I’m giving up this post,” Kumaraswamy said, before going on with his speech.
But the chief minister, who did not claim in his two-hour long speech that he had the numbers, had made it clear early in his speech that he wouldn’t run away from the vote. He also declared that he wouldn’t let the rebels responsible for the collapse of his government to come back and rejoin the party. Ever.
But before he stopped his two-hour-long speech, Kumaraswamy also had a word of advice for the other lawmakers including those from the rival BJP and its boss BS Yeddyurappa.
“This seat is not permanent for anybody. There have been 23 chief ministers in this state,” he told the assembly, capping a discussion that had gone on for four days.
“This is all part of politics,” Kumaraswamy later told reporters outside the assembly soon after losing majority and the government.
BS Yeddyurappa celebrated his exit as the victory of democracy. Yeddyurappa, who is expected to be named as Kumaraswamy’s replacement by the Bharatiya Janata Party, promised people of Karnataka a new era of development. “Farmers are suffering from drought... We will address their needs... We will take appropriate decisions at the earliest,” Yeddyurappa said.
The BJP, which was convinced that the Congress-JDS coalition had lost its majority, did not participate in the confidence motion and had been insisting since day one, that the assembly right away get down to the headcount.
The ruling coalition had avoided the vote, hoping that the threat of disqualification could persuade some of the rebel lawmakers to resign.
Kumaraswamy appeared to acknowledge this strategy. “We might have taken time on this discussion. It might have been greed. But it was also hope that people can change themselves,” he said, regretting that the opposition had targeted assembly speaker
He blamed the opposition for being in a tearing hurry to prove his minority status in the assembly and come to power.
“I’m not worried. I’ve done many wrongs and good things and I’ve tried rectify the wrongs,” he said, a remark right at the beginning of his speech that signalled he was prepared for the collapse of his government.
The government had been wobbly for about a fortnight after 16 lawmakers — 13 from the Congress and three from the JDS — resigned. Since then, one Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy - signalled he would return to the party fold and did vote for the ruling coalition. But two independent legislators had withdrawn support to the coalition.