Ahead of the crucial trust vote Monday, BJP Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa exuded confidence that it would be the last day of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state even as two Independent MLAs — R Shankar and H Nagesh –have decided to move the Supreme Court, seeking direction to conduct the floor test immediately.
“As (senior Congress leader) Siddaramaiah, the speaker and Kumaraswamy have said that they will seek majority Monday, I am 100 per cent confident that things will reach a conclusion. I am confident that tomorrow will be the last day of the Kumaraswamy government,” PTI quoted the former chief minister as saying on Sunday.
Referring to the two defied deadlines by Governor Vajubhai Vala for conducting a trust vote, Yeddyurappa alleged the ruling coalition was unnecessarily buying time despite knowing that the whip issued to the ruling coalition MLAs was of no use.
Citing the Supreme Court ruling on July 17, Yeddyurappa said, “The SC has clearly said in its order that under any circumstances the 15 MLAs staying in Mumbai should not be compelled to attend the current assembly session. It has clearly stated that it is left to them (MLAs) whether they want to attend or not.”
In their petition, which is likely to be mentioned on Monday, Shankar and Nagesh have sought a direction to the HD Kumaraswamy-led government to hold the floor test on or before 5 pm on July 22.
“It is submitted that the trust vote is not being conducted despite the government being in minority. It is submitted that a minority government, which does not have the confidence of the majority, is being allowed to continue in office,” the Independent legislators said in their plea.
The fate of the flailing HD Kumaraswamy led Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka is likely to be decided on the floor of the assembly on Monday after the resignations of 15 MLAs have threatened its political relevance in the state.
If the resignations are accepted or the MLAs disqualified, the numbers of the coalition will drop from 117 to 101 compared to the BJP’s 105 in the 224-member House where the halfway mark is 113.
Hearing a plea by the rebel MLAs against the delay in accepting their resignations, the Supreme Court on Wednesday put the ball in the Speaker’s court but also ordered that the MLAs should not be “compelled” to attend the ongoing session of the Assembly.
On Friday, Kumaraswamy moved the SC, questioning Governor Vala’s deadlines to the Karnataka Assembly and also sought clarification on the top court’s direction that 15 rebel coalition MLAs cannot be “compelled” to attend the proceedings of the House.
The BJP, meanwhile, has refused to be baited into a clash with ruling MLAs in the Assembly despite allegations of BJP leaders paying MLAs to defect and topple the government.
As many as 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JDS– had resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government. One Congress member Ramalinga Reddy retracted, saying he would support the government.