In a calculated move, HDK opts for floor test

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in the Assembly in Bengaluru on Friday. DH Photo/ Krishnakumar P S

In what appears to be a calculated move, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy announced in the Legislative Assembly on Friday that he would seek a trust vote to prove his majority. 

While there is no clarity on when the floor test will be held, the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition is confident that it will show enough numbers, even as the BJP claims the government was in a minority. 

Not willing to take any chances, all three parties — Congress, JD(S) and the BJP — have moved their MLAs to resorts. 

“There is an atmosphere of confusion due to the action of some MLAs. I am not here sticking to power. I have decided to move a trust vote because it is inevitable. I want to continue in this chair only when I have the support of the House. This is a voluntary decision,” Kumaraswamy said, asking Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to fix a date for the motion to be moved. 

The Speaker, however, said the chief minister will have to decide when he wants to take the floor test.

A total of 16 MLAs of the ruling coalition have tendered their resignation and two Independents have withdrawn support, reducing Kumaraswamy’s tally from 119 to 101. With the support of the independents, the BJP’s tally is 107. 

The SC order on status quo on the 10 rebel MLAs has helped Kumaraswamy buy time.

Hectic parleying is already underway to convince about half-a-dozen rebels to come back. Apparently, the coalition is reaching out to the likes of senior leaders Ramalinga Reddy and others who have tendered their resignation. 

During the floor test, Kumaraswamy will have to go from 101 to 108 to exceed the BJP’s tally of 107. 

Also, with the resignation of MLAs pending acceptance, the coalition will look to bind the rebels under the whip. 

The BJP is said to have gone back to the drawing board to chalk out its next move. The saffron party did not expect the Supreme Court to order a status quo on the resignation of the rebel MLAs. Asked if the party was ready for the floor test, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa said: “It’s not for us to be ready.”

But fearing the prospect that their MLAs may be poached or be made to skip the floor test, the BJP moved its flock to a resort near Yelahanka.

“There is an opinion in the party that everyone should be together, and arrive together on for the session on Monday,” Yeddyurappa said.

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