(Image source from: Livemint.com)
Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy Seeks Trust Vote in Assembly:- Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy announced unexpectedly a surprise on Friday by declaring that he would seek a trust vote on the floor of the assembly.
The CM’s announcement on the first day of the monsoon session came just 10 minutes after the Supreme Court handed him a breather by asking the speaker to maintain status quo till Tuesday on the resignations of 10 rebel Members of Legislation (MLAs).
As soon as the assembly met at noon, Kumaraswamy said given the ongoing confusion in Karnataka against the backdrop of the political developments, it would be appropriate for him to continue in office only after proving his majority. “So, I have decided to seek a trust vote. You fix the date and time,” Kumaraswamy said, addressing Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. However, no date has been decided for the trust vote yet.
The announcement took Bharatiya Janata Party by surprise as it not only pre-empted its plan to move a no-confidence motion but also blunted the accusation that the CM was clinging to power despite losing the majority.
According to sources close to the CM said he was taking a “calculated risk” by this make-or-break move. A legislator close to Kumaraswamy said: “The opposition MLAs are not united in favour of forming a government. Had they been confident of defeating the coalition in a trust vote, BJP would have quickly moved a no-trust motion. By sitting back, BJP appears to be on shaky ground.”
Sources said AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah and senior minister D K Shivakumar spoke with the CM on Friday morning to chalk out the strategy for the trust vote. “Congress has given the CM complete authority to approach its rebels and even negotiate on the coalition’s behalf,” a legislator said. “Kumaraswamy has personally tried to convince each of the rebels to return to the coalition fold.”
Senior Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy, one of the 16 who resigned, is learned to have been mollified. There is speculation that he will be given the Bengaluru development portfolio which deputy CM G Parameshwara currently holds. R Roshan Baig, another Congress rebel, attended the assembly session on Friday. Though suspended by the party, Baig’s presence is being seen as a sign of his coming around.
The rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, who are camping in Mumbai and skipping the assembly session, will have to return to Bengaluru once the whip is issued for the trust vote motion. Though the MLAs have taken the stand that they need not attend the legislature as they have resigned from the assembly, the speaker has not accepted their resignations yet.
If the MLAs do violate the whip, it will be a strong ground to seek their disqualification under the anti-defection law. “Since their resignations have not been accepted yet, the rebel MLAs continue to be members of the assembly and they are bound by the whip to toe the party line,” a senior Congress MLA said.
BJP seems to have gone on the back foot, at least temporarily, with state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa saying his party would decide its strategy on the basis of Kumaraswamy’s speech on the proposed trust vote.
A meeting between BJP’s Karnataka in-charge P Muralidhar Rao and JD(S) minister S R Mahesh had triggered speculation of a potential BJP-JD(S) tie-up, but sources said Kumaraswamy had closed all doors for BJP.
Hours after house business came to a close, BJP, Congress and JD(S) packed off their MLAs to resorts in a bid to fend off poaching attempts.