Karnataka crisis: Govt to face trust vote on Thursday

Karnataka crisis: Govt to face trust vote on Thursday

Congress and JD(S) MLCs protest against BJP in the Council in Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru on Monday. DH Photo

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s confidence motion, with which he will seek to prove his majority, will be taken up on July 18, Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar announced on Monday. 

By then, the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition will look to pull out all strings to win back rebels to shore up its numbers. 

Kumaraswamy had, on Friday last, announced in the Legislative Assembly he wanted to move a confidence motion in the wake of 16 legislators of the ruling coalition tendering their resignation and two Independents withdrawing support. 

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The coalition leadership pointed out that while the confidence motion will be debated and discussed on July 18, it did not necessarily mean that a floor test would happen the same day. Looking to buy as much time as possible, the coalition has targeted to woo back about half-a-dozen rebels. 

Kumaraswamy expressed confidence that his government would survive the crisis. “I have full confidence...why do you worry?” he told reporters. 

Leader of the Opposition B S Yeddyurappa also beamed with confidence. “The CM may say something, but let me tell you...15 persons are already in Mumbai, two Independents are with us. So, that’s 17. We are in touch with another two to three who want to resign. I am 100% confident that the confidence motion will be defeated and the CM will resign,” he said.  

Earlier in the day, the BJP petitioned the Speaker that it wanted to move a no-confidence motion against Kumaraswamy as part of its strategy of mounting pressure on him to resign citing he lacked the numbers. The BJP delegation comprising MLAs J C Madhuswamy, KG Bopaiah and C M Udasi gave a notice to move the no-trust motion. However, the Speaker chose to give Chief Minister’s confidence motion the priority as he had mooted it first. 

“On Thursday, 11 am, the confidence motion moved by the chief minister will be taken up for discussion,” Kumar said. The date and time was fixed at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting where Kumaraswamy and Yeddyurappa were present. 

In exchange for agreeing to the date for the motion to be discussed, the BJP demanded that the Assembly be adjourned as no business can take place before the confidence motion is done with. “At one point, it was opined that business can go on as usual, but the Opposition leaders said they would not participate. Without the Opposition, it is not appropriate to conduct business,” Kumar said. 

Accordingly, the Assembly that met for not more than 15 minutes on Monday, was adjourned after Kumar’s announcement till 11 am on July 18.