In a surprise move amid the crisis faced by his government, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday sought time from the Speaker of the state assembly to seek a vote of confidence.
Kumaraswamy, whose JD(S)-Congress coalition is tottering after 16 MLAs resigned since July 6, said it would be inappropriate for him to continue without a majority.
“I have decided to seek a trust vote. I am requesting you to fix a time for it at the earliest,” Kumaraswamy told the Speaker in the course of condolence messages at the opening of the state assembly session. “Only when I have the support of this House, I can continue in this position. I am not ready to misuse this position in any way. So voluntarily I have decided to seek trust vote.”
Responding to Kumaraswamy’s move, Speaker K R Ramesh said a slot would be allotted whenever the Karnataka Chief Minister opted for it. To a question on the justification behind the chief minister seeking to trust vote, Kumar said the question should be put to Kumaraswamy.
“I feel that it can be heard because he had said that he will not cling to power in the current situation. I cannot say that I will hear it today itself. He has only informed me that on a certain day he will seek the trust vote. My job will be to include it in the list of business of the day,” Kumar added.
The Speaker was supposed to start the hearing on the resignation of three MLAs Anand Singh, Prathap Gouda Patil, and Narayana Gowda Friday. However, two of them approached the Supreme Court, which restrained Kumar from taking any decision on the resignation and disqualification of 10 rebel MLAs of the state’s ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition till next week Tuesday.
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Asked whether he would still start proceedings on the resignation by three MLAs, Kumar said, “I will start the process if they come. If they don’t come I will sleep at home. That’s it.”
The resignations have pushed the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state to the brink. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition of Congress and JD(S) will have 101 members while BJP will have 105 MLAs and the support of two Independents.
The coalition is hoping to win back at least a few rebel MLAs to prove its majority when the Speaker fixes a time to prove majority.