Ending the series of tumultuous events in Karnataka since the announcement of the election results, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday won the trust vote without a contest as BJP MLAs staged a walkout over farm loan waivers before the floor test in the state assembly. Proving the majority on the floor of the house, Kumaraswamy said, “The real action will start now, whatever promises I have made to the citizens of Karnataka, I am going to fulfill them.”
Kumaraswamy’s motion seeking the confidence vote was declared passed by voice vote by Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in the absence of the BJP MLAs. Kumaraswamy described the BJP walkout as “escapism”.
Calling the Congress-JD(S) alliance unholy, Yeddyurappa took a dig at the government and called for a state-wide bandh on May 28. In his speech, Kumaraswamy said his government would carry all sections together and would take into consideration suggestions made by the Opposition.
In the 222-member House, where 112 is a simple majority, the JDS-Congress combine had 118 MLAs (JDS 37, Congress 78 and three others), while the BJP has 104 seats. Congress nominee K R Ramesh Kumar was unanimously elected as Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly after senior BJP leader Suresh Kumar withdrew his nomination for the Speaker’s post.
The chief minister said there was a “blot” on JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda after he (Kumaraswamy) joined hands with the BJP to form a coalition government in 2006. Kumaraswamy said he was now relieved as that “blot” on his father’s reputation caused by his act of aligning with the BJP has been removed (with the formation of a secular government). Deve Gowda had strongly opposed Kumaraswamy’s decision to form a coalition government with the BJP.
The JDS-Congress government replaced the B S Yeddyurappa-led BJP government, which assumed office on May 17 and made an exit two days later after failing to muster the numbers for a simple majority. The JDS-Congress coalition was forged after the Assembly polls of May 12 threw up a hung verdict.
Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the CM on May 23, which witnessed a massive show of strength by the opposition which paraded almost all the top leaders from various parties including Mayawati, Sitaram Yechury, Tejaswi Yadav among others.
A day ahead of the trust vote, Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara said the Congress-JD(S) coalition was yet to discuss modalities about H D Kumaraswamy continuing as Chief Minister for a full five-year term. “We have not yet discussed those modalities,” he said in response to a question whether Kumaraswamy will be the Chief Minister for full five-year term.