Karnataka CM ignores deadline to prove majority

The political uncertainty in Karnataka continued as the Assembly was adjourned till Monday without taking up the voting on the confidence motion. Governor Vajubhai Vala had set a fresh deadline for Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to prove his majority on the floor of the House by 6 pm on Friday. The second deadline was issued after the previous 1.30 pm deadline ended without the state Assembly taking up the floor test to decide the fate of the wobbly JD(S)-Congress government.

Before adjourning the House for the day, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said the motion of confidence would reach finality on Monday and it would not be prolonged further under any circumstances, to which the government agreed.

Referring to this second intimation by the Governor as his ‘second love letter’, Kumaraswamy has urged the Speaker to decide upon the floor test. “I have respect for the Governor. But the second love letter from the Governor has hurt me… I leave the decision on the floor test to you (the Speaker). It won’t be directed by Delhi. I request you to protect me from the letter sent by the Governor,” he added.

Meanwhile, Congress Karnataka chief Dinesh Gundu Rao moved the Supreme Court asking it to clarify the Congress Legislature Party’s right to issue a whip to its members. The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.

Rao, in his petition, said the apex court order “whittles down” the power of a political party to issue whip to its MLAs as it has a constitutional right to do so and the court cannot restrict that. Rao added that the order was passed without involving the Congress Legislature Party, which presently has 79 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly.

The Congress further submitted that under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, a political party has a right to issue a whip to its legislators. Similarly, Kumaraswamy also moved the top court seeking clarification of its July 17 order. He also said that the Governor cannot dictate the manner in which the debate on the confidence motion has to be taken up in the Assembly.

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