The political slugfest in Karnataka reached a crescendo of sorts on Friday, with Governor Vajubhai Vala asking Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to prove his majority on the floor of the House by 6 pm.
Congress leader Siddaramaiah, however, has said that the floor test may happen on Monday, as 20 more speakers are yet to give their opinions on the matter.
In a nutshell, the fate of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government rests on a trust vote, which is expected to happen either on Friday or Monday. It was in this context that the Congress and BJP accused each other of horse-trading and Kumaraswamy made an emotional appeal to the BJP to "have some fear of God".
Here's an explainer on a trust vote, and the related concepts of a floor test and no-confidence motion.
A confidence motion, or a vote of confidence, or a trust vote, is sought by the government in power on the floor of the House.
In the case of Karnataka, Kumaraswamy had last week told the Speaker that he was ready to seek a trust vote or face a no-confidence motion during the session which will go on till 26 July. "After all these developments, I am seeking your permission and time to prove the majority in this session," he told Ramesh Kumar in the Assembly.
Floor test is a term used for the test of the majority. If there are doubts against the chief minister, the governor can ask him to prove his majority in the House. In case of a coalition government, the chief minister may be asked to move a vote of confidence and win a majority.
In the absence of a clear majority, when there is more than one individual staking claim to form the government, the governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority to form the government. Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote. The numbers are then considered based only on those MLAs who were present to vote.
A no-confidence motion, or vote of no-confidence, or a no-trust vote, can be sought by any House member to express that they no longer have confidence in the government.
According to the rules of procedure and conduct of business in Karnataka Assembly, the Speaker may allot a day or days or part of a day for the discussion of the motion. The Karnataka BJP had on Tuesday submitted a petition to the Speaker stating its decision to move a no-confidence motion.
The Congress-JDS coalition government is under threat of being reduced to minority as 16 of their MLAs resigned from the Assembly while two Independents, too, withdrew their support to the alliance and aligned with the BJP.
In the 225-member assembly, the ruling coalition's total strength is 116 (Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1), besides the Speaker. With the support of the two Independents, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House. The Speaker, too, has a vote.
It is not known if the Speaker will accept the resignations of the MLAs before the trust vote, which will affect the total strength of the House.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 19, 2019 17:10:48 IST