#KarnatakaCrisis: After missing deadlines, Kumaraswamy faces floor test today
As the Karnataka Assembly resumes on Monday, the tottering Congress-JD(S) alliance faces its final test. HD Kumaraswamy-led government will have to prove majority on the floor, after missing two deadlines on Friday, which were set by Governor Vajubhai Vala. The rebel MLAs, whose resignations spelled trouble for the government, have clarified they won't attend the proceedings. Here are more details.
Backstory: Resignations of 18 MLAs threatened the coalition government
Congress-JD(S) stitched a post-poll alliance in 2018 and earlier this month it was jolted by a major crisis after 18 MLAs resigned. To recall, when speaker KR Ramesh didn't accept the resignations, the legislators approached the Supreme Court. In its balanced judgment, SC said Ramesh can take a decision whenever he wants, but added rebel MLAs can't be forced to attend the Assembly.
Vala set two deadlines, House breached both of them
The floor test was scheduled to happen on Thursday, but the debate went on for hours. This prompted Governor to shoot a letter to Kumaraswamy ordering him to prove majority by 1:30 PM on Friday. After the first deadline was breached, Vala gave the government time till 6 PM, but the proceedings didn't end even then. At around 8:30 PM, the House was adjourned.
Naturally, Congress-JD(S) made last-ditch efforts to save coalition
Notably, when he adjourned the House on Friday, Ramesh "extracted" a commitment from the coalition government that the trust vote should be completed on Monday. Over the weekend, Congress and JD(S) held emergency meetings, in hope of winning over the rebel MLAs. But they haven't flinched. The MLAs, who are staying at Mumbai hotel, said they haven't been "captured" and won't show up.
No question of attending Assembly tomorrow: Rebel JD(S) legislator
Reiterating their stand, rebel JD(S) legislator K Gopalaiah in a video said, "We thought this government will do good to the state but it did not happen. There is no question of our attending the Assembly session tomorrow."
Separately, Kumaraswamy claimed he wasn't hungry for power
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy made an emotional appeal to the disgruntled MLAs. He said he was not trying to "cling to power", and urged them to return to "expose" BJP. "It is a matter of immense pain and disgust that the BJP has not only taken Karnataka's political scenario to a new low but also set a new benchmark in the country for immoral politics," he said.
Let's sit and discuss issues, Kumaraswamy told the rebels
"Let us sit together and discuss all issues including your problems, if any, and arrive at a solution to save this democratically elected government from the evil forces which are trying to shake the very foundation of democracy by misusing their political influence," he added.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa feels coalition's end is near
As Congress-JD(S) took steps to save the coalition, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa exuded confidence saying Monday will be their "last day". Separately, two Independent MLAs, R Shankar, and H Nagesh have moved SC seeking direction to conduct floor test by 5 PM on Monday. "It is submitted that the trust vote is not being conducted despite the government being in minority," their plea read.
The coalition has Mayawati's support, but it won't be enough
To some relief of the coalition, BSP Chief Mayawati has ordered her lone MLA N Mahesh to vote in its favor. But that won't make much of a difference. If the resignations of 18 MLAs is accepted, the strength of the coalition will drop to 100. On the other hand, BJP already has 105 MLAs in 224-member assembly and support of two independents.