Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday sailed through the trust vote without a contest as BJP legislators staged a walkout before the floor test in the Assembly, calling the JD(S)-Congress alliance “unholy”.
The confidence motion was adopted by a voice vote in presence of the 118 legislators of the ruling alliance: 78 Congress MLAs, JD(S)’s 37 and three others).
Earlier, the JD(S)-Congress combine elected Congress MLA K R Ramesh Kumar as Speaker of the Assembly unopposed, after senior BJP leader Suresh Kumar withdrew his nomination.
Seeking the trust vote in the Assembly, Kumaraswamy said he was now a much more mature politician than what he was 10 years ago when he was chief minister of Karnataka for the first time.
“When we came to power in 2006, I was inexperienced and we did not have too much experience in (running) the government,” Kumaraswamy said. “(But) in the last 10 years, I have seen a lot of ups and downs. I am now in a position to ensure overall development of the state with a coalition government that will be model for the country.”
He asserted that the Congress-JD(S) coalition will complete its five-year tenure.
The chief minister said he has devised a scheme to waive-off farm loans without putting burden on the state exchequer and that he would soon make an announcement in this regard after consultations.
“I am the chief minister of Karnataka only after the trust vote. I cannot make announcements like (BJP’s B S) Yeddyurappa did after he was sworn in. I have the mandate to take decisions only if confidence is reposed by the legislature in my government,” he said while moving a motion for the vote of confidence.
Replying to Kumaraswamy’s confidence motion, Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Yeddyurappa threatened to launch an agitation in the state if the chief minister did not announce a waiver of farm loans in 24 hours, as promised in the JD(S) manifesto. Taking a dig at the new government, he said the BJP will observe a Karnataka bandh on Monday if the loan waiver was not announced.
According to sources in the JD(S), Kumaraswamy is likely to announce a loan waiver and a slew of populist schemes over the next two days as his first major announcement as the chief minister.
Meanwhile, leaders of the JD(S)-Congress combine, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, held a meeting at former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s residence to select Cabinet ministers for the new government.