Karnataka Assembly Floor Test Updates: HD Kumaraswamy is now caretaker CM; Congress blames BJP for fall of govt

  • The Congress-JD(S) government collapsed in Karnataka as HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote on Tuesday

  • While 99 MLAs voted for the coalition government, 105 voted against it

  • The BJP has promised to form a stable government and is likely to decide on its future course of action after a legislature party meeting on Wednesday

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Karnataka Assembly Floor Test Updates: HD Kumaraswamy is now caretaker CM; Congress blames BJP for fall of govt
  • 21:31 (IST)

    BSY to first discuss plan with Modi, Shah

    On the BJP's plan of action, state party president BS Yeddyurappa said, "I will discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and our President Amit Shah. Afterwards, I will go and meet the governor. We are going to have a legislature party meet now."

  • 21:15 (IST)

    Kumaraswamy is now Karnataka's caretaker chief minister

    Upon accepting HD Kumaraswamy's resignation, Governor Vajubhai Vala told him to continue as the caretaker chief minister of Karnataka till a new government takes over. Vala also told Kumaraswamy that no executive decisions can be taken during this period.

  • 21:06 (IST)

    Happiest person in the world, says HDK after losing trust vote

    In one of the first reactions after losing the trust vote, HD Kumaraswamy said, "I am totally relieved and the happiest person in the world now. I will not retire and will fight back. Let us see." 

  • 21:02 (IST)

    'Congress will hold nationwide protests against political destabilisation by BJP'

    Congress leader KC Venugopal said that the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka was brought down by the "nefarious joint efforts" of the central government, Karnataka governor, Maharashtra government and central BJP leadership. "Congress will hold nation wide protests against the immoral, blatant and brazen political destabilisation carried out by the BJP," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

  • 20:59 (IST)

    Vajubhai Vala accepts HD Kumaraswamy's resignation

    HD Kumaraswamy is no longer the Chief Minister of Karnataka. The BJP is now likely to stake claim to form the government, but the party's final call will only be known after its legislature party meeting on Wednesday.

  • 20:54 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy submits resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala

    Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan.

  • 20:42 (IST)

    Mayawati sacks BSP MLA who abstained from trust vote

    Mayawati has expelled BSP MLA N Mahesh after he abstained from voting during the floor test. The BSP supremo had earlier directed Mahesh to vote in favour of HD Kumaraswamy.

  • 20:39 (IST)

    BJP will never stop if we don't tackle its excesses constitutionally: G Parameshwara

    In a series of tweets, G Parameshwara lashed out at the BJP over 'Operation Kamala'. He wrote, "We have seen over the last few years how BJP has bought hordes of MLAs from other parties and toppled governments. It will never stop if we don't tackle its excesses constitutionally. Everything constitutional, unlike BJP's Operation Kamala, has to follow due process and takes time!"

  • 20:24 (IST)

    HDK heads to Raj Bhavan

    After losing the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, HD Kumaraswamy is heading to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation to the governor. 

  • 20:17 (IST)

    Rebel MLAs to return to Bengaluru tomorrow, says report

    CNN-News18 quoted sources as saying that the rebel MLAs currently camping in Mumbai will be coming back to Bengaluru on Wednesday, following the verdict of the Karnataka floor test.

  • 20:15 (IST)

    New era of development will start now, says Yeddyurappa 

    Addressing the media, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa that the results of the floor test were a victory of democracy. "People were fed up with Kumaraswamy government. I want to assure people of Karnataka that a new era of development will start now," he said. "We assure the farmers that we will give more importance to them in the coming days. We will take an appropriate decision at the earliest."

  • 20:12 (IST)

    BJP supporters celebrate outside party's Bengaluru office

  • 20:08 (IST)

    BJP to decide future course of action after legislature party meet tomorrow, say reports

    The BJP, which has promised to form a stable government, will discuss its future course of action during a legislature party meeting on Wednesday, according to reports.

  • 20:05 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy seeks appointment of governor

    After losing the trust vote, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has sought an appointment from Governor Vajubhai Vala.

  • 20:04 (IST)

    Congress leader HK Patil slams rebel MLAs for 'betraying' party

    Speaking on HD Kumaraswamy losing the trust vote, Congress leader HK Patil hit out at the rebel MLAs and said, "This defeat is because of betrayal of our party legislatures. We have come under the influence of various things. I am sure the people of Karnataka will not tolerate this type of betrayal to the party."

  • 19:59 (IST)

    End of an era of corrupt, unholy alliance: BJP

    BJP posted tweets welcoming the results of the trust vote. "Game Of Karma," it said in one tweet, taking a dig at the Congress-JD(S) alliance. In another tweet, it promised "a stable and able governance" to the people of Karnataka.

  • 19:49 (IST)

    BSY, other BJP leaders flash victory sign

  • 19:46 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy loses trust vote; 105 MLAs vote against govt

    HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote on Tuesday, the fourth day when the House debated on the confidence motion. While 99 MLAs voted for the government, 105 voted against it.

  • 19:38 (IST)

    Speaker to announce results shortly

    The counting for the floor test is currently underway. The Speaker has said he will only vote if there is a 'tie'.

  • 19:34 (IST)

    Speaker not to cast vote during floor test

    Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar announced that he will not be voting during the floor test.

  • 19:29 (IST)

    Voting begins in Karnataka Assembly

    The House is currently voting on the floor test. This will decide the fate of the HD Kumaraswamy government.

  • 19:22 (IST)

    Division of votes to take place shortly

  • 19:07 (IST)

    Not going to run away, let there be a discussion on confidence motion, says Kumaraswamy

    While flouting the 6 pm deadline set for the floor test by Speaker Ramesh Kumar, HD Kumaraswamy said he is ready for the floor test and is “not going to run away”. “They (BJP) are in a hurry. Let there be discussion. Let’s have a division of votes, but let me finish,” he said.

  • 19:01 (IST)

    You made yourself scarce on knowing rebel MLAs were to visit, Krishna Byre Gowda tells Speaker


    Congress leader Krishna Byregowda said the ongoing political crisis might hurt the Speaker Ramesh Kumar, as he has revealed only half of what HD Kumaraswamy has said. “The rebel MLAs also told the Supreme Court that you made yourself scarce when you came to know the rebels were about to come. You left in a private car before they came," Byre Gowda said.

  • 18:49 (IST)

    Ready to resign, kept the letter ready, says Speaker Ramesh Kumar


    "These rebel MLAs came to my chamber and didn't even seek permission. They went to Supreme Court and then came to me again. I asked one of the lawmakers if he wasn't first an MLA in the House in 1978. When I asked him if his resignation in the format, he said the gist of it conveys the same message. If he did not know the rule, why submit the resignation like that? And then he says I'm not behaving correctly," the angry Speaker Ramesh Kumar told the House, saying it is contempt of the House.

    Sending a piece of paper to state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, he said that he has kept a letter ready with him and is ready to resign.

  • 18:33 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy presents concluding remarks

    "We have delivered on our promises every single time," HD Kumaraswamy says in state Assembly, adding that his work was based on intuition, not superstition.

    He also said that he extended support to Kodagu flood victims, without sidelining constituencies who did not vote for his party.

  • 18:14 (IST)

    HDK apologises to people for dragging trust vote process

    "I had no intention to drag the trust vote; I apologise to the Speaker and people of the state," said HD Kumaraswamy in the Assembly.

  • 18:03 (IST)

    Ready to sacrifice my post over political developments, says Kumaraswamy

    In an emotional concluding speech, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said, "I apologise to Opposition and voters for keeping them waiting. I’m fed up of the current political developments. I'm ready to sacrifice my post."

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Rebel MLAs will be disqualified, says HDK

    HD Kumaraswamy lashed out at the rebel MLAs in his concluding remarks before the floor test. "The rebels will be disqualified. Their political career will come to an end," he said.

  • 17:47 (IST)

    Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru

    After protests broke out in Race Course Road, probitory orders have been imposed for the next 48 hours in Bengaluru, according to reports. All bars and wine shops will be closed during this period.

  • 17:43 (IST)

    HD Kumaraswamy presents concluding remarks
     

    Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is presenting his concluding remarks in the Assembly during the debate on confidence motion moved by him.

  • 17:36 (IST)

    Watch: Congress workers protest outside Nitesh Apartments over news of Independents MLAs being lodged in a flat

  • 17:34 (IST)

    Congress, BJP clash over two Independent MLAs holed up in Bengaluru flat

    The workers of the Congress and BJP clashed at Race Course Road in Bengaluru with reports saying that two Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh are holed up inside a flat in Nitesh Apartments in that area. The Independent MLAs were the ones who withdrew their support to the coalition government earlier in July.

  • 17:19 (IST)

    Floor test likely soon

    HD Revanna is speaking in the Assembly right now and no other members are expected to speak after him. If HD Kumaraswamy presents his concluding remarks after Revanna's speech, it will be followed by the floor test.

  • 16:52 (IST)

    Siddaramaiah says BJP should accept it is poaching MLAs

    Siddaramaiah said in the Assembly that the BJP should accept openly it is poaching MLAs. He said: "Ninety-nine percent of the state believes BJP is indulging in horse-trading... BJP leaders were seen accompanying rebel MLAs. Which party is in power in Maharashtra? How are these rebels getting such security arrangements?" The rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs have been holed up in a hotel in Mumbai even since the crisis in Karnataka began to unravel.

  • 16:43 (IST)

    Siddaramaiah slams BJP for 'wholesale and retail sale of MLAs'

    During the debate on confidence motion, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP for the "wholesale and retail sale of MLAs". "Governments will come and go, but we need to preserve the Constitution. Wholesale and retail sale of MLAs is a shameful act," he said.

  • 16:14 (IST)

    No court can interfere with functioning of Speaker, says Siddaramaiah

    As the debate on the confidence motion continued on the fourth day, Congress leader Siddaramaiah said, "The Speaker has the right to reject or accept resignations. The Speaker is the supreme authority in the Assembly. No court can interfere with the functioning of the Speaker."

  • 15:53 (IST)

    Verdict of people should be respected by all parties: Siddaramaiah

    Lashing out at the BJP for indulging in horse-trading practices since the time Congress-JD(S) government came to power, Siddaramaiah said, "The coalition government has been in existence for 14 months. The people of Karnataka didn’t give majority to any single party in 2018; it was a fractured verdict. In democracy the verdict of the people must be respected by all parties."

  • 15:38 (IST)

    Didn't 'lock' rebel MLAs up because of 'trust', says DK Shivakumar

    Continuing his attack on the rebel Karnataka MLAs, DK Shivakumar said that the Congress could have locked up the dissidents but didn't because they have "trust" in them.

  • 15:21 (IST)

    Youth Congress workers protest outside Mumbai hotel, detained

    Youth Congress workers protested outside the rebel MLAs’ hotel in Mumbai as the Karnataka Assembly continued to debate the floor test on the HD Kumaraswamy-led government for the fourth day. A massive police presence is outside Powai hotel where Youth Congress is protesting, CNN-news18 reported. The report also said that the protesters have now been detained.

  • 15:07 (IST)

    Rebel MLAs backstabbed me: DK Shivakumar 

     

    As the day's proceedings progressed with the Congress and JD(S) dominating the debate on the trust vote in the House on Tuesday, Congress minister DK Shivakumar said, "It's not the BJP leaders who have back-stabbed me, but the rebels in Mumbai who have. But, do not worry, they will do the same to all of you. They cannot become ministers I'm telling you."

  • 14:39 (IST)

    Congress Karnataka ministers, leaders hold floor in House with criticism for BJP

     

    Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah, Krishna Byre Gowda launched a blistering attack on the BJP over the impending floor test in the state Assembly.

    Shivakumar said that he spoke to one of the rebel MLAs who said that "he wanted a ministerial berth". "I told him that all of the rebels will be cremated by BJP leaders," he added. He also said that the BJP had "destroyed" the political future of the rebel MLAs.

    On the other hand Shivakumar also said that he was "hurt" by the rebel MLAs' conduct. He referred to his visit to Mumbai when the MLAs had asked the police for protection from Shivakumar. "I was forced to stand on the street in Mumbai. I could have easily locked up rebel MLAs in a room, but I did not do it because of the friendship," he added.

    Siddaramaiah supported Shivakumar's arguments and said, "Shivakumar has tried to instill some sense in MLAs by reminding them that BJP has misled them."

  • 13:59 (IST)

    DK Shivakumar launches sarcastic attack on BJP over 'Operation Lotus' 

     

    Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar slammed the BJP and state party chief BS Yeddyurappa over "untiring" efforts to conduct "Operation Kamala" in the state. He "congratulated" Yeddyurappa, whom he called the "star of Operation Lotus".  He also made a sarcastic comment on how Yeddyurappa "is not giving up". He said, "You are making a seventh untiring attempt to bring down the government."

    "BJP has a mandate to run the country. You have an opportunity to change a system where horse-trading is the norm. Take the lead and we will be with you. End this murder of democracy," he added.

  • 13:25 (IST)

    Speaker KR Ramesh should realise what he is doing: Mukul Rohatgi after SC adjourns Independent MLAs hearing to Wednesday

    The petition filed in the Supreme Court by two Karnataka MLAs seeking directions to hold a trust vote has been adjourned for tomorrow (Wednesday). A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi recorded the submissions made by the Speaker that the Assembly session is in progress, and that he was optimistic that the trust vote could happen in the next two days.

    While addressing the media outside the apex court, counsel for rebel MLAs Mukul Rohatgi said, "I hope Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar realises what his position is, what the constitution has obliged him to do and the fact that the floor test is being adjourned day after day."

    Rohatgi further added that the 15 rebel MLAs of Congress and the JD(S) have the option of appearing in the proceedings or not because they were being issued a whip which is a basis of disqualification. "If floor test is not held today, we will press for an operative direction tomorrow," said Rohatgi. 

  • 13:08 (IST)

    BJP hits out at HDK, says CM will continue to 'loot and waste' taxpayers' money

    Karnataka unit of the BJP has hit out at chief minister HD Kumaraswamy for not being present at the Assembly. Taking to Twitter, the saffron party said, "Session for #KarnatakaTrustVote has begun But CM @hd_kumaraswamy is resting at his Taj West end hotel His message is clear He will continue to loot & waste tax payers money to the very last second as CM He & his party will be answerable to Kannadigas very soon."

  • 12:55 (IST)

    Karnataka Speaker unhappy about 'empty' treasury benches

     

    Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar reportedly expressed unhappiness over the "near-empty" treasury benches in the Karnataka Assembly as the House convened to witness the debate and floor test on the Congress-JD(S) coalition government.

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Shivalinga Gowda reiterates demand for exclusion of rebel MLAs

    JD(S) MLA Shivalinga Gowda, during the debate on the floor test on Tuesday, reiterated the ruling coalition's demand for state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa to clarify whether the rebel MLAs would be inducted into the saffron party after the confidence motion is passed.

    "BS Yeddyurappa should clarify that rebel MLAs will not be given any ministerial berth nor should they be inducted into the BJP," Gowda said.

  • 12:25 (IST)

    UT Khader accuses BJP of meeting rebel MLAs

    Karnataka minister UT Khader questioned the BJP over "using" the rebel MLAs to approach the Supreme Court "urgently". He also accused the saffron party of meeting with the rebel MLAs.

    "BJP should provide an answer to these questions," he said.

  • 12:21 (IST)

    DK Shivakumar, HD Kumaraswamy meet to discuss plan of action if govt fails trust vote

    Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and water resources minister DK Shivakumar on Tuesday met to discuss the future of the coalition and the plan of action if the Congress-JD(S) government fails the floor test on Tuesday.

    (Image credit: News9)

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Independent MLAs plea in SC adjourned till tomorrow

     

    The Supreme Court had adjourned the hearing of the Independent MLAs plea seeking direction for the floor test to be conducted in the Karnataka Assembly, for Wednesday. The apex court said that it would hear the plea if the trust vote doesn't take place on Tuesday.

    The apex court is also likely to hear various petitions filed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundurao in the coming week.

Karnataka Assembly Floor Test LATEST Updates: Upon accepting HD Kumaraswamy's resignation, Governor Vajubhai Vala told him to continue as the caretaker chief minister of Karnataka till a new government takes over. Vala also told Kumaraswamy that no executive decisions can be taken during this period.

After losing the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, HD Kumaraswamy submit his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala, who accepted it. Meanwhile, the BSP has expelled its lone MLA in the state Assembly for abstaining from voting.

During the floor test, while 99 MLAs voted for the government, 105 voted against it.

The House is taking up division of votes on the fourth day of debate on confidence motion moved by HD Kumaraswamy.

In an emotional concluding speech, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said, "I apologise to Opposition and voters for keeping them waiting. I’m fed up of the current political developments. I'm ready to sacrifice my post."

After protests broke out in Race Course Road, probitory orders have been imposed for the next 48 hours in Bengaluru, according to reports. All bars and wine shops will be closed during this period.

The workers of the Congress and BJP clashed at Race Course Road in Bengaluru with reports saying that two Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh are holed up inside a flat in Nitesh Apartments in that area. The Independent MLAs were the ones who withdrew their support to the coalition government earlier in July.

During the debate on confidence motion, Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP for the "wholesale and retail sale of MLAs". "Governments will come and go, but we need to preserve the Constitution. Wholesale and retail sale of MLAs is a shameful act," he said.

As the day's proceedings progressed with the Congress and JD(S) dominating the debate on the trust vote in the House on Tuesday, Congress minister DK Shivakumar said, "It's not the BJP leaders who have back-stabbed me, but the rebels in Mumbai who have. But, do not worry, they will do the same to all of you. They cannot become ministers I'm telling you."

Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Siddaramaiah, Krishna Byre Gowda launched a blistering attack on the BJP over the impending floor test in the state Assembly.

Shivakumar said that he spoke to one of the rebel MLAs who said that "he wanted a ministerial berth". "I told him that all of the rebels will be cremated by BJP leaders," he added. He also said that the BJP had "destroyed" the political future of the rebel MLAs.

On the other hand Shivakumar also said that he was "hurt" by the rebel MLAs' conduct. He referred to his visit to Mumbai when the MLAs had asked the police for protection from Shivakumar. "I was forced to stand on the street in Mumbai. I could have easily locked up rebel MLAs in a room, but I did not do it because of the friendship," he added.

Congress leader and Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar slammed the BJP and state party chief BS Yeddyurappa over "untiring" efforts to conduct "Operation Kamala" in the state. He "congratulated" Yeddyurappa, whom he called the "star of Operation Lotus". He also made a sarcastic comment on how Yeddyurappa "is not giving up". He said, "You are making a seventh untiring attempt to bring down the government."

"BJP has a mandate to run the country. You have an opportunity to change a system where horse-trading is the norm. Take the lead and we will be with you. End this murder of democracy," he added.

Addressing the media outside the Supreme Court after the bench adjourned hearing petition of rebel Congress-JDS MLAs to Wednesday, counsel for rebel MLAs Mukul Rohatgi said, "I hope Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar realises what his position is, what the constitution has obliged him to do and the fact that the floor test is being adjourned day after day."

Rohatgi further added that the 15 rebel MLAs of Congress and the JD(S) have the option of appearing in the proceedings or not because they were being issued a whip which is a basis of disqualification. "If floor test is not held today, we will press for an operative direction tomorrow," said Rohatgi.

Karnataka unit of the BJP has hit out at chief minister HD Kumaraswamy for not being present at the Assembly. Taking to Twitter, the saffron party said, "Session for #KarnatakaTrustVote has begun But CM @hd_kumaraswamy is resting at his Taj West end hotel His message is clear He will continue to loot & waste tax payers money to the very last second as CM He & his party will be answerable to Kannadigas very soon."

The Supreme Court had adjourned the hearing of the Independent MLAs plea seeking direction for the floor test to be conducted in the Karnataka Assembly, for Wednesday. The apex court said that it would hear the plea if the trust vote doesn't take place on Tuesday.

The apex court is also likely to hear various petitions filed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundurao in the coming week.

The Karnataka Congress MLAs have demanded that the trust vote be delayed by four weeks as the rebel MLAs have asked for the duration of four weeks before meeting the Karnataka Speaker, India Today reported.

Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar left the Assembly session to meet rebel MLAs' lawyers at his chamber. The counsel for the Independent MLAs, R Shankar and H Nagesh, Mukul Rohtagi has arrived at the Supreme Court ahead of the likely hearing of the MLAs' plea regarding the floor test on the HD Kumaraswamy-led government.

BJP's J Shettar and KS Eshwarappa BJP voiced their discontent in the Karnatka Assembly as the House proceedings were delayed over the tardiness of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and other coalition leaders. Speaker KD Ramesh Kumar had called for the House to be convened at 10 am on Tuesday, after the day ended in ruckus on Monday.

Shettar accused the JD(S), Congress MLAs of taking the agenda of the confidence motion "lightly" and said, "They assured us that it (floor test) will be done today but they haven't even come. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy sits in his chamber and clears files instead of sitting for discussions. They don't have the mindset to prove their majority, they want to drag this. The people are disgusted with this. We cannot wait for people who are holed up in Mumbai."

The Karnataka Assembly resumed operations on Tuesday in anticipation of the floor test on the HD Kumaraswamy-led government. However, even though Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and opposition BJP MLAs were present half an hour after the proceedings were scheduled to begin, Congress and JD(S) leaders were absent from the Assembly Session.

"The Session is already underway with BJP beginning discussions with Speaker," News9 reported.

Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who arrived at the Vidhana Soudha ahead of the floor test in the Assembly on Monday, responded to allegations that he was "intentionally" providing more time to coalition partners Congress and JD(S) to prove their majority. He was quoted by ANI as saying, "I convey my thanks to them. I pray for God to give them some sense."

He also weighed in on the rebel MLAs' letter seeking more time before meeting him, and said, "It is all related to court proceedings. It will all be dealt with in the court."

The Congress and JD(S) MLAs, whose resignations kickstarted the latest political crisis in Karnataka, have reportedly written to Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asking for four weeks' time before meeting with him. The Speaker has summoned them for a meeting on Tuesday on the disqualification notice issued by Congress leaders.

India Today reported that, in a letter to the Speaker, the MLAs have asked for the additional time to be able to "consult their lawyers", and also stated that the minimum time available for MLAs in consideration for disqualification is seven days, as per the law.

The fate of the Congress-JD(S) government remained uncertain even on the third day of the debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. After the ruling parties and BJP locked horns to debate on the motion, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar adjourned the proceedings till 10 am on Tuesday. "By 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), the floor test will be done," he said."

Right from the time when the proceedings began, Kumar repeatedly reminded the government to honour its commitment to complete the trust process Monday itself.

As the House resumed its sitting after an hour's delay in the morning, the Speaker made it clear, "Everybody is watching us. Please don't make me a scapegoat. Let us reach our goal," stressing that the process should reach finality Monday.

Kumaraswamy had moved the confidence motion on Thursday to decide the fate of the Congress-JD(S) government, rocked by rebellion by a section of its MLAs threatening its survival.

The debate on the confidence motion prolonged to Friday, with the ruling coalition defying the two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala — to complete the process by 1.30 pm on Friday and later by the end of the day. The proceedings were adjourned till Monday after the Speaker extracted a commitment from the government that the process would be completed by Monday itself.

"It will not bring respect to the House or to me," the Speaker made his position clear, implying that the trust vote should not be delayed further, amid reports that the ruling coalition had sought two more days time for voting.

"We are in public life. People are watching. In the name of discussion, if an opinion is created that we are wasting time, it won't be right on my part or anybody else's," he said.

The Congress' position was stated during the debate on the confidence motion by senior Minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who said that taking up the voting without the Speaker's decision on the resignation issue would leave the confidence motion process without any sanctity.

"We are in an extraordinary situation... I request the Chair to decide on the resignation first. Or else, it will (confidence vote) will have no standing," Gowda said, as the debate on the trust vote dragged on for the third day.

"Is the resignation voluntary and genuine. Aren't they against democracy?" he asked.

Mounting an attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre, Gowda charged that there was a "systematic effort" to eliminate the "political opposition" in the country and the operation in Karnataka by BJP was part of such an attempt.

Alleging that there was an "undeclared emergency" in the country, Gowda told the BJP "the blood of democracy is on
your hands". He also appealed to the rebel lawmakers to reconsider their stand.

The BJP suspects that the voting is being delayed by the Congress-JD(S) government only to buy time to win back the rebel MLAs, whose resignations have pushed it to the precipice.

Earlier, the governor had shot off two missives to the chief minister, setting deadlines on Friday to conclude the proceedings, expressing fear that the delay only gives rise to the scope for horse-trading.

Senior BJP leaders Jagadish Shettar and Madhuswamy told the Speaker that the business on confidence motion should be completed Monday itself and the debate should not be dragged on endlessly. The Speaker also on Monday gave a ruling that a legislature party leader has the right to issue a whip.

"Issuing whip is your right. Following them is left to the MLAs. If any complaint comes to me, I will follow rules and take a decision," Kumar told Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, who had raised a point of order on the issue of whip in the light of the Supreme Court order last week.

When the confidence motion was moved on Thursday last, Siddaramaiah had pressed for deferring it till the Speaker decided on the issue of whip in the wake of the apex court's verdict on the political crisis in the state.

Siddaramaiah had said that the 15 ruling coalition rebel MLAs were influenced by the apex court order that they can abstain from attending the Assembly proceedings and asked the Speaker to give a ruling on the fate of the whip issued by him as CLP leader.

"If this motion is taken up, then it will not be constitutional. It violates the constitutional provisions. I request you to defer it. I want your ruling on this point of order," Siddaramaiah had told the Speaker.

Seeking to exert pressure on the government, BJP asked Kumaraswamy "to resign and go" if he has faith in the Constitution and people of the state. The BJP said Kumaraswamy himself moved the confidence motion, but the trust process was still prolonging.

Earlier, during Monday's session, Kumar took a dig at the politics of defection in Karnataka. "I am worried about the people of Karnataka who have voted them to power. They will be left without an MLA. If the ruling party has documentary evidence, please submit it to me. If you do not have, then I'll have to expunge it from the records," he said.

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah also said that while it is up to the Speaker to take a call on the confidence motion, his party has also filed a petition in the Supreme Court in the matter.

The House was adjourned for 10 minutes around 6.30 pm, but reconvened only after about two hours. During the adjournment, the Speaker held two meetings — one with BJP and JD(S) members and another with Kumaraswamy, his deputy G Parameshwara and other Congress-JD(S) members — in his chamber.

After the House reconvened, Kumaraswamy claimed that a fake resignation letter forged with his signature was doing rounds on social media. "I got information that I have tendered my resignation to the governor. I don't know who is waiting to become chief minister. Someone has forged my signature and has spread the same on social media. I am shocked. It is a cheap tactic of politics."

A while back, Kumar also snapped at the Congress-JD(S) MLAs, who were raising slogans, 'Save the Constitution' in Vidhana Soudha. "I am ready to sit till 12 pm. Why are you doing like this? This is not right."

Supreme Court to hear plea of two Independent MLAs tomorrow

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a fresh plea of two Independent Karnataka MLAs — R Shankar and H Nagesh — seeking holding of the floor test "forthwith" in the state Assembly on the trust motion moved by Kumaraswamy.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday declined to hear during the day the plea. "On mentioning, the matter is taken on board. List the matter tomorrow (Tuesday) before the appropriate bench as per the roster," the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, said in its order.

The two MLAs, who withdrew support to the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka, had moved the top court seeking a direction to the Kumaraswamy government for conducting a floor test in the state Assembly on or before 5 pm on Monday.

The Independent MLAs' petition came days after Kumaraswamy and state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao moved the top court accusing the governor of interfering with the Assembly's proceedings during the debate on trust vote.

Kumaraswamy and Rao had filed separate applications after the deadlines set by the governor to conclude the proceedings of the confidence motion were not met.

They had also sought a clarification of the 17 July order of the apex court by which the 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs were granted relief that they cannot be compelled to participate in the ongoing Assembly proceedings.

In Karnataka, the Congress-JD(S) government slumped into a minority earlier in July following the resignation of several dissident MLAs. Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition, including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs, have tendered their resignations. One of the rebel MLAs Ramalinga Reddy took back his resignation last week, after holding talks with the Congress leadership.

On Friday, the Assembly failed to meet the deadline set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to complete the trust vote. After that, Kumaraswamy moved the Supreme Court challenging the governor's directive to the government saying it was in violation of well-settled law laid down by the court.

The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113. The ruling combine's strength is 117, besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two Independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.

If the resignations of 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and three from JDS) are accepted or if they stay away, the ruling coalition's tally will plummet to 101, reducing the government to a minority.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 23, 2019 22:06:00 IST