Karnataka Speaker says he is not delaying trust vote

Bengaluru: Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar arrives at Vidhana Soudha to conduct the trust vote in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)(PTI7_18_2019_000215B)

Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Friday dismissed suggestions that he was trying to delay the vote on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to decide the fate of his government.

The Speaker made his position clear as the Assembly proceedings began with Governor Vajubhai Vala having set 1.30 pm on Friday as the deadline to prove his majority.

"I don't have to be partisan," Kumar said, expressing anguish over suggestions that he was trying to delay the trust vote.

He said there was discussion and "indirect comments" made that he was delaying the process (vote of confidence).

"You may have your own apprehensions but let me make it clear that there is no room for me being impartial. I have led fairly in the public life. Character assassination is easy but those commenting on me please look at your background," he said.

After making his remarks, the Speaker asked the chief minister to speak on the debate on the trust vote, saying, "I am clear... no scope for any other discussion (except the trust vote)."

Within hours after the confidence motion could not take place with the Speaker adjourning the day's proceedings in the assembly, the Governor had Thursday shot off the letter to the Chief Minister setting the deadline.

The Governor had observed that resignation of 15 MLAs of the ruling JD(S)-Congress and withdrawal of support by two independents "prima facie" indicated Kumaraswamy has lost the confidence of the House.

The Governor had also sent a missive earlier to the Speaker to conclude the trust vote proceedings by the end of the day. 

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