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Karnataka govt to face floor test by 6 pm; Congress mulling disqualification of rebels

Amid high drama, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar adjourned the House nearly at midnight to meet again on Tuesday at 10 am after directing Kumaraswamy to hold the floor test by 6 pm.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Karnataka coalition government will face the floor test by 6 pm today to prove its majority in the House.

Amid high drama in the Karnataka Assembly, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar adjourned the House nearly at midnight to meet again on Tuesday at 10 am after directing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to hold the floor test by 6 pm.

The opposition BJP leaders protested against the Speaker for adjourning the session without the floor test which he promised them on Friday and throughout Monday.

“The Speaker betrayed us again by adjourning the House without the floor test for the fourth time since July 18 after assuring us that he would not defer it beyond Monday,” BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa was quoted as saying by IANS.

As per the Speaker’s orders, the debate has to be concluded by 4 pm and the floor test by 6 pm.

HD Kumaraswamy moved the confidence motion on July 18 to prove majority after the 14-month fledgeling JD-S-Congress coalition government was reduced to minority following the resignation of 15 rebel legislators of the ruling combine and withdrawal of support by two Independents in the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated without voting right.

Meanwhile, 12 rebel Congress MLAs have sought four weeks’ time to meet the Speaker pleading they are not in a position to return to Bengaluru for personal reasons, a day after they were summoned to meet him at 11 am today.

Also, the Supreme Court on Tuesday passed an order saying that the court is optimistic that Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar will hold the floor test today. The apex court will hear the matter tomorrow.

The 15 Karnataka rebel Congress and JD(S) legislators and two Independents had 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 14-month Congress-JD(S) coalition government is facing an imminent defeat in the Assembly as the rebel MLAs refused to withdraw their resignations or attend the session for voting in its favour during the floor test.

Meanwhile, unable to woo back its 14 MLAs who have tendered their resignations, the Congress is mulling the idea of disqualifying them, party sources indicated.

The ruling coalition had 118 members in the 224-member assembly. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the government will be left with 101 members. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators, which is two more than the majority mark of 105.

(With inputs from IANS)