HDK ready for trust vote, asks Speaker to fix time
Bengaluru: With his government on the verge of collapse, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday announced that he would seek a trust vote and sought time from Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
The surprise announcement from the embattled chief minister came in the state Assembly, which met here for an 11-day session in the backdrop of the resignation of 16 ruling coalition MLAs, which now threatens the government's survival.
However, the opposition BJP took exception to the Chief Minister raising the matter during obituary reference.
A total of 16 MLAs-13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) resigned, which was followed by the two independent legislators who were made ministers recently withdrawing support to the government.
"In my opinion today in the backdrop of the developments, I have decided that I should move the confidence motion. I seek your time," Kumaraswamy told the Speaker.
"The occasion is such that, I have to say this, I can continue only if I enjoy the trust of the House. In this background, I am not ready to misuse my position sitting in this place," he said.
He said he had taken the decision on the trust vote "voluntarily."
"The ongoing political developments, this confusion has been created due to the action of some MLAs. I am ready for everything. I am not here to stick on to power," Kumaraswamy said.
In response Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Friday said a slot would be allotted whenever the Karnataka Chief Minister opted for it.
"The chief minister has spoken his mind that he would not cling to power amid the confusion. He said he will seek the trust of the House," the Speaker told reporters here.
"Whenever he tells me that he wants to move the trust motion, the very next day I will put it in the business of the day," he added.
The ruling coalition's total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker.
With the support of the two independents, who Monday resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 100.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka Assembly speaker on Friday to maintain status quo on the resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi posted the matter pertaining to the Karnataka political crisis for further hearing on July 16.
The ongoing political crisis has ensured that the majority of the 224 public representatives of the state would be in one resort or the other this weekend and not in their respective constituencies.
The state BJP on Friday decided to move its MLAs to two resorts, Ramada and Sai Leela, as chief minister H D Kumaraswamy took everyone by surprise with his decision to seek a trust vote.
Taking no chances, the Congress and the JD(S) have also made elaborate plans to herd their MLAs in resorts.