Karnataka’s HD Kumaraswamy-led Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition government will face its trust vote on Thursday, it was decided at a meeting of the assembly’s business advisory panel. The discussion on the vote of confidence will begin at 11 am on Thursday,” Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah announced.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy had offered to face the confidence vote last week after nearly 16 coalition lawmakers sent their resignations to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, threatening to reduce the coalition government to a minority.
The strength of the 224-member state assembly would be reduced to 209 if the 16 resignations are accepted. The Congress-JDS coalition would need 105 to retain the government but it has only 101 MLAs. The opposition BJP, has 105 lawmakers in the assembly apart from the promise of support of two more independent legislators.
The Karnataka coalition has survived so far because Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar decided against rushing into accepting the resignations, insisting that the law required him to satisfy himself that the resignations were voluntary, and not coerced.
Ramesh Kumar held fort even when the Supreme Court – which had been petitioned by 10 rebel MLAs – initially told him to quickly take a decision. The court, after hearing the speaker’s version, later barred Ramesh Kumar from taking a call either on the disqualification of the rebel Karnataka MLAs or their resignation.