Karnataka: Ready to prove majority, Kumaraswamy tells speaker

Politics

12 Jul 2019

#KarnatakaCrisis: Kumaraswamy says he's ready to prove majority in assembly

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, whose government entered a major crisis after 18 legislators resigned, said he was ready to face the floor test.

"I have decided to seek trust vote, please fix a time for it," Kumaraswamy told speaker KR Ramesh on Friday during the budget session in the state assembly.

Even on Thursday, he had clarified he won't step down.

Context

Backstory: Several resignations cast doubt on fate of Kumaraswamy's government

In May'18, Congress and JD(S) forged a post-poll alliance after none of them got a clear majority, and Kumaraswamy became the CM.

Treading on sticky ground since beginning, the coalition received a major blow after 18 MLAs resigned.

Their resignations haven't been accepted by the speaker, which has sort of given a reprieve to the government.

However, the breather might not last long.

Details

I am not here to stick to power, said Kumaraswamy

I am not here to stick to power, said Kumaraswamy

Interestingly, Kumaraswamy was on a visit to the US when his government was on the verge of collapse.

Kumaraswamy's initial reaction to the crisis was that his government would survive. He also met senior leaders of Congress to deal with the problem.

And on Friday, he declared, "I am ready for everything, I am not here to stick to power."

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On Kumaraswamy's statement, speaker agreed to give time

Subsequently, Ramesh said he would allow a slot to Kumaraswamy whenever he opts for it. "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," Ramesh said.

SC order

Interestingly, the political crisis already landed in Supreme Court

Earlier today, the Supreme Court gave a respite to the wobbling coalition by saying that Ramesh has time till Tuesday to make up his mind on resignations of rebel MLAs.

To recall, on Wednesday, 10 dissident MLAs approached SC accusing Ramesh of "helping" the government by not accepting their resignations.

Subsequently, the SC directed him to take a decision by Thursday-end.

Decision

Ramesh met rebel MLAs but didn't decide on resignations

Notably, SC had asked the rebel MLAs to meet Ramesh by 6 PM on Thursday. Following the order, the legislators met him for almost an hour.

Reportedly, they came with a blank paper and re-submitted their resignations, after which Ramesh addressed the media.

When asked if he has taken a decision, Ramesh said, "You can't expect me to work at lightning speed."

Verdict

In court, Ramesh sought more time to go through resignations

In court, Ramesh sought more time to go through resignations

After Ramesh defied its order, SC asked if the speaker had "power" to do so. In court, he said he needs time to assess the resignations and that many of the MLAs face disqualification.

At the end of hour-long proceedings, the bench said the decision needs to be taken till Tuesday.

If the resignations are accepted, coalition's strength will drop to 100 from 118.

No decision on resignation or disqualification till Tuesday: SC

"We are of the view that the status quo as of today with regard to the prevailing situation be maintained. Neither the issue of resignation nor that of disqualification be decided till Tuesday," the court said.

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