The Karnataka assembly today began debate on the trust motion moved by HD Kumaraswamy who alleged there was a ‘conspiracy to weaken’ his government. The vote is unlikely to happen today as the JD(S)-Congress combine alone has 26 speakers to back the motion. “It is not important if the coalition survives, but we must discuss this conspiracy to weaken democracy, the embattled chief minister said.
The state has been simmering since July 7 when 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — resigned, pushing the Congerss-JD(S) coalition government to the brink of collapse. This was followed by several twists and turns with rebel MLAs holed up in Mumbai and Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar ‘deliberating’ on their resignations. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that neither the Speaker can be forced to take early decision nor the rebel MLAs be forced to attend the session.
Moving the motion, CM Kumaraswamy said: “I have self respect and so do my ministers. How can I live with this and not discuss this? I have to make clarifications. Who is responsible for destabilising this government?” The discussion on the vote of confidence started around 11 am and apart from the MLAs in Mumbai hotel, BSP MLA N Mahesh, an ally of the coalition, was missing from the House.
Another Congress MLA Shrimant Patil who was staying with other legislators at Windflower Prakruthi Resort in Bengaluru, reached Mumbai last night. Meanwhile, Congress leaders engaged in number crunching believe that only two of the rebel MLAs need to vote for them for the government to stay afloat.
Congress’s rebel MLA Ramalinga Reddy has already announced his decision to vote for the coalition and the party is expecting Roshan Baig, Anand Singh and Sudhakar to also vote for the ruling coalition.
This would bring the numbers at par to 105 each side in the House of 224 (one member is nominated). The ruling coalition would then need only two of the rebels to vote for them or two BJP MLAs to cross vote, according to the source. Ahead of the floor test, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa expressed confidence that the coalition government would fall later today.