Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy with his deputy G Parameshwara during Assembly Session at Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru. (PTI Photo)
Karnataka floor test highlights: Setting a new deadline of 6 pm Tuesday to complete the vote, Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Monday adjourned the house. Earlier in the day, Speaker K R Ramesh had expressed his discontent over wasting time in the name of discussion. “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 had said.
Amid the ongoing chaos in the Assembly by the BJP leaders, a letter, that appeared to be that of the resignation of Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy, surfaced on Monday and was circulated on social media spreading rumours of the chief minister putting down his papers. However, terming it a “cheap level of publicity”, Kumaraswamy said the letter was fake and his signature had been forged. “I got the information that I have tendered my resignation to the governor. I don’t know who is waiting to become the CM. Someone has forged my signature and spread the same on social media. I’m shocked at the cheap level of publicity,” news agency ANI quoted the CM as saying.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, refused to give an early hearing to the plea of two Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking directions to the Speaker to conclude the floor test before 5 pm today. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “Impossible. We have never done this before. Tomorrow we may see to it.”
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Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa holds a meeting with party MLAs at a resort in Bengaluru on Sunday. (PTI)
The Congress-JDS alliance, which is on the brink of collapse in Karnataka, held emergency meetings over the weekend and made last-ditch attempts to woo back the rebel MLAs. But the MLAs, few of whom are camping in Mumbai, sent out a video message saying they would not budge from their decision to resign and withdraw support to the coalition.
The confidence motion was moved on Thursday but the vote did not take place despite two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala. Stung by the resignation of 15 MLAs, the strength of Kumaraswamy government in the 225-member Assembly will likely slip to 102 MLAs. In comparison, the opposition BJP has 105 MLAs and the support of two Independents. In a relief for the government, BSP chief Mayawati has directed her party's lone one legislator in Karnataka to side with the alliance.
Despite their numbers not adding up to a majority, members of the coalition have insisted that the government will win the trust vote. “We are confident that we will be able to save the government,” JD(S) MLA D C Gowrishankar said.
"We thought this government will do good to the state but it did not happen. There is no question of our attending the assembly session tomorrow," rebel JD(S) MLA K Gopalaiah said in a video, flanked by ten other legislators. A H Vishwanath, who resigned as the JD(S) state president following the Lok Sabha election debacle, said "the demonic politics in the name of the coalition has done no good to the people and compelled the MLAs to resign."
BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa said, “Kumaraswamy has been saying he does not want to stick on to the chief minister’s chair. In the past three days, it has been apparent to the people of Karnataka the extent to which he is stuck to the chief minister’s chair.”