As Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar stated that he would complete trust vote process on Monday, both ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and the opposition BJP are reshaping their strategies for the Mondya’s show of strength.
As the numbers are not favouring the ruling coalition, they are pinning hopes on a favourable response from the Supreme Court on two petitions — one by the state unit of Congress and the other by chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy — to delay the exit of the 14 month-old government at the end of the trust vote process on Monday.
Congress legislators are scheduled to meet this evening to draw up multiple strategies, including a positive response from the apex court, to delay the trust vote. The coalition defied two deadlines set by governor Vajubhai Vala to drag the debate on the motion of confidence to Monday but could seek Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar’s nod to stretch the debate further till both petitions are taken up the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
Meanwhile, sources in Congress said the coalition partners reportedly decided to seek the help of pontiffs and various religious leaders to coax rebel legislators to return to the Assembly ahead of the confidence vote. Sources hoped this would work out in the interest of the coalition government.
Earlier, former minister R. Ramalinga Reddy, who withdrew his resignation on Friday, called on JD(S) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda in the presence of chief minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy, and tried in vain to reach out to three city MLAs who are camping in Mumbai. The trio resigned after consulting Mr Reddy but unlike the latter did not change their plans.
State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa too met party MLAs and decided to adopt a wait-and-watch approach when the Assembly resumes on Monday. “Despite the governor’s directive to conclude the confidence motion process on Friday itself, unnecessarily time was wasted by allowing legislators to speak for hours. They don’t have majority and are committing the sin of wasting time. What action the governor will take is left to him,” Yeddyurappa said.
Claiming that the Congress-JD(S) coalition had just 98 legislators and BJP 106 MLAs, he said after having lost the majority, Mr Kumaraswamy had no moral right to continue as CM.
The BJP issued a statement reiterating that the ruling coalition lowered the dignity of the House by dragging the debate, first on a point of order followed by highlighting various judgments.