In a new development ahead of Trust Vote in Karnataka Assembly on Monday, i.e. 22 July, two independent MLAs approached Supreme Court on Sunday seeking direction to conduct the floor test immediately.
The two MLAs have alleged that the H.D. Kumaraswamy led JDS-Congress minority government is indulging in delay tactics in proving the majority on the floor of the House and flouting rules.
In their petition, which is likely to be mentioned on Monday, R. Shankar and H. Nagesh have alleged that despite the JDS-Congress coalition government being in minority in the state, trust vote is not being conducted.
This minority government, which doesn’t have the confidence of the majority, is being allowed to continue in office. Shankar and Nagesh have appealed to the court to give direction to the government to hold the floor test on or before 5 P.M. on 22 July.
Both the independent MLAs have withdrawn support from the Kumaraswamy led coalition govt. and have expressed their support in favour of BJP.
On Friday, H.D. Kumaraswamy had moved the SC questioning Governor Vajubhai Vala’s deadlines for a floor test in the Assembly and had also sought clarification on the Apex Court’s direction that 15 rebel coalition MLAs can’t be compelled to attend the proceedings of the House. This is being seen as a delay tactic of the ruling combine.
His main concern being that if the resignations of 15 MLAs are accepted or if the MLAs are disqualified, the number of coalition members will drop from 117 to 101 as compared to BJP’s 105 in the 224 member House.
With the support of the two independent MLAs, their number will go up to 107 where the halfway mark in the House is 113. One rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy has retracted and said that he would support the govt. Besides, BSP supremo Mayawati also directed her only one MLA in the Assembly to vote in favour of the govt.
The BJP’s Karnataka chief and the former CM B.S. Yediyurappa has also slammed the state government. Referring to the two defied deadlines by Governor Vajubhai Vala for conducting a trust vote, he alleged that the ruling coalition was unnecessarily buying time despite knowing that the whip issued to the ruling coaliting MLAs was of no use.
He exuded confidence that it would be the last day of the ruling Congress-JDS coalition government in the state on Monday.
Meanwhile, the two hotels in Bengaluru have turned into war rooms. Yediyurappa has called a meeting of his MLAs on Monday morning.
Prior to it, even after a long debate, the much-awaited floor test in the state Assembly couldn’t take place on Friday and the House was adjourned till 22 July.
The Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had moved the Supreme Court against its July 17 order. Besides him, the state Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao also had moved the Supreme Court against its July 17 order.
On the other hand, the BJP was mounting pressure on the speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold the floor test at the earliest. The governor had set two deadlines for the coalition govt. to prove majority in the House but the govt. strategically missed it.
The fate of the JDS-Congress coalition govt. in Karnataka still hangs in the balance. If the speaker accepts the resignations of the rebel MLAs, the strength of the coalition govt. will reduce down to a minority.
This is the real cause of dilly-dallying in the floor test. But the central govt. is closely watching the entire drama. It has the weapon of article 356 in its hand and may dismiss the state govt. if the crisis is prolonged too long.