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JD(S) open to Congress CM in Karnataka, claims DK Shivakumar ahead of floor test today

Meanwhile, CM Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he was ‘not trying to cling onto power’ while offering to hold talks with the rebels to resolve their issues.

SNS | New Delhi |

After weeks of uncertainty, the fate of the Karnataka coalition government might be decided today with the much-debated trust vote in the state Assembly.

In a bid to save the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, senior Congress leader and troubleshooter DK Shivakumar claimed HD Kumaraswamy has told the Congress that it can appoint any leader of its choice as Chief Minister, according to a report in PTI.

“JD(S) is ready for the Congress heading the coalition government with its Chief Minister. Its (JD-S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda told our party high command that his party was not opposed to a Congress leader heading the government,” Shivakumar told reporters.

JD(S) spokesman Ramesh Babu, however, denied such a decision was taken by the party leadership.

“I am not aware of this development. We are busy preparing for the debate and vote on the confidence motion tomorrow (Monday) to save our government first,” Babu told IANS.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was trying to stall the floor test for today as well.

Kumaraswamy on Sunday denied claims that he was getting himself admitted to a hospital to avoid the floor test.

“The news of Kumaraswamy being unwell and getting admitted in a city hospital is fake… being spread by those trying to topple the coalition government,” said the Chief Minister’s Office in a statement.

Two independents had alleged this in a plea before the Supreme Court.

Also, Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he was “not trying to cling onto power”.

“My only intention of seeking time for debate on trust vote is to let the entire country know how the BJP, which talks of morality, is trying to subvert the very principles of democracy as well as the Constitution,” he said in a statement quoted by NDTV. He further offered to hold talks with the rebels to resolve their issues.

The 15 Karnataka rebel Congress and JD(S) legislators and two Independents on Sunday filed a joint petition in the Supreme Court seeking direction to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to hold the trust vote by 5 pm on Monday.

The petitions were filed by apex court advocate Disha Rai due to apprehension that the Chief Minister or his ruling Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) coalition partners will make yet another attempt to defer the trial of strength on the trust vote on some pretext or other.

The coalition government has already breached two deadlines set by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday.

The first one was set for 1.30 pm on Friday to prove the majority, while the second deadline was set from 6 pm the same day. However, Speaker KR Ramesh adjourned the session till Monday.

Speaker Ramesh towards the end of the hectic session on Friday said that he cannot sit there further and the matter would be taken up on July 22.

Before adjourning the House, the Speaker made it clear that trust vote would be put in motion on Monday positively and the matter would not be prolonged further under any circumstances.

With 15 rebel legislators, including 12 from the Congress and 3 JD-S, resigning from the house, and two Independents withdrawing support, the 14-month coalition government is facing an imminent defeat in the Assembly as the former refused to withdraw their resignations or attend the session for voting in its favour during the floor test.