HDK reaches out to rebel MLAs

HDK reaches out to rebel MLAs

Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, Dinesh Gundu Rao and G Parameshwara at the CLP meeting in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday sent out a desperate plea to the rebel MLAs, urging them to save the government as the Congress-JD(S) coalition government braced for a vote of confidence on Monday.

Yet, the coalition’s chances look bleak as the MLAs refused to return and back the government on the confidence motion even as the Congress claimed the JD(S) had agreed to part with the chief minister’s post to placate the rebels.

But there was some respite - likely to be inconsequential - in the form of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA N Mahesh, who was directed to back
the coalition by the party high command on Sunday evening. 

While the BJP, which appears to have an upper hand in case of a trust vote, has decided to continue its wait and watch approach, confident that the party will be in the majority, the coalition partners have pinned their hopes on a petition filed by the Congress party and the CM in the SC.

An interim judgement on the petition had resulted in legal confusion, allowing the coalition to raise a point of order stating that the order infringed on the  parties’ right to issue a whip. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the petition again on Monday.

CM’s appeal

In the appeal to rebel MLAs, Kumaraswamy accused the BJP of destabilising the coalition by forcefully taking away MLAs.

“Let us sit together and discuss all the issues including your problems, if any, and arrive at a solution to save this democratically elected government ......,” he said.

On its part, the Congress continued its attempts to reach out to the rebels. Shivakumar told reporters that the JD(S) has even offered to sacrifice the chief ministerial berth to save the coalition.

“JD(S) has even spoken to the Congress high command regarding the issue. They have told us that we are free to choose a chief minister,” he said.

With the support of the BSP, the number of MLAs in favour of the coalition is now 100 - including the speaker, while BJP has 105 MLAs in its kitty. All three parties met on Sunday to discuss their approach when the Assembly convenes on Monday, during which the vote of confidence is expected to take place.

Though Governor Vajubhai Vala had directed the state government to complete the vote of confidence on Friday, the coalition had continued its discussion on the confidence motion, contending that the governor did not have the powers to interfere in the matter.