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Published On: Thu, Jul 18th, 2019

Karnataka: Governor ask CM to prove majority by 1:30 pm on Friday

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karnataka-assembly-session_d8ee8444-a6c4-11e9-a026-e5ea8cdc4f4aBANGALURU : BJP has certainly set new trends and established itself as a party with a difference. In the crisis unfolding in Karnataka, the party has changed the rules of engagement in the handling of members of the legislative assembly by springing a surprise that its rivals – the leaders of the Janata Dal Secular (JDS)-Congress coalition government – are bound to spar over for a long time to come.
The ruling coalition in Karnataka, in danger of collapsing after multiple resignations, will have to prove majority on the floor of the house by 1:30 pm on Friday, the Governor has written to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. “Prima facie you have lost majority”, Governor Vajubhai Vala’s letter reads.

The governor, on a request from a BJP delegation, had urged the Speaker to consider a trust vote by the end of the day but the Speaker adjourned the assembly till tomorrow despite the BJP insisting on a vote this evening. In protest, the BJP has decided that its lawmakers will spend the night in the assembly.

BJP’s tallest leader in the state, B.S. Yeddyurappa has moved from saying “we are no way related to the crisis”, to listing to the media names of those jumping on to the BJP’s bandwagon. It just needed a D.K. Shivakumararguing with policemen at a Mumbai hotel seeking “coffee with friends”, to clear up muddied waters.

Shivakumar’s move changed the perception that the resignations were a result of internal differences within the Congress and between the Congress and the JD(S). The real factor was the BJP, determined to teach the coalition partners a lesson as the offer of chief ministership to H.D. Kumaraswamy by the Congress had thwarted its “Congress-Mukt” campaign of 2018.

“The fact that 15 members have met me and tendered their resignations and coupled with two members have withdrawn their support and other attendant circumstances do prima facie indicate that you have lost majority/confidence of the House,” the governor wrote to the chief minister. His letter also said the House was adjourned without reaching any finality and “this cannot go on in a Democratic set up governed by the Constitution of India.”

CM HD Kumaraswamy moved the motion for a trust vote and, in his speech, accused the BJP of trying to put hurdles before his government. As the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa, a former chief minister, demanded a quick vote, the Chief Minister retorted: “The Leader of Opposition seems to be in a hurry.”
Much of the day was taken up by protests by the Congress over Shrimant Patil, who slipped out of a resort where the party’s lawmakers were staying and surfaced in a hospital in Mumbai.

The Congress alleged that Shrimant Patil had been lured by the BJP to Mumbai, which has been the base of rebel lawmakers who quit the ruling coalition on July 6. The Speaker demanded a report on the “runaway” lawmaker from State Home Minister MB Patil.

In a fiery speech, Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, accused the BJP of “kidnapping” his party lawmakers. “I have got calls from family members that they have been kidnapped,” he said.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court left it to the speaker to decide on the resignations of the rebel lawmakers. At the same time, the court said they cannot be forced to attend the assembly, which blunts the threat of disqualification.
Armed with the Supreme Court order, the rebel lawmakers camping in Mumbai said there was no question of stepping back on their resignations or attending the session. Later in the evening, however, Congress’s Ramalinga Reddy said he would withdraw his resignation.
Sixteen legislators – 13 from the Congress and three from JDS – have resigned in the last two weeks, while two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition government.

The ruling coalition’s strength in the 224-member assembly was 118 before the crisis unfolded. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the ruling coalition’s tally will plummet to 101 (if Ramalinga Reddy takes back his resignation), reducing the 13 month-old Kumaraswamy government to a minority.

Amid chaos in the Karnataka assembly over one more rebel managing to reach Mumbai, which has become the base of dissident lawmakers quitting the coalition, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asked for a detailed report from Home Minister MB Patil.
(with Agency Inputs ).







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