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Karnataka Speaker summons rebel MLAs tomorrow, says floor test has to be concluded today

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has already missed two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday to prove majority of the coalition government.

SNS | New Delhi |

With the floor test slated to be conducted later in the day, Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Monday summoned the rebel legislators to meet him at his office at 11 am on Tuesday.

The notice was issued over a petition seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs by the coalition government.

However, as the business resumed in the Assembly, the Speaker said that he “will have to pass a ruling today” adding that he was delayed as he was checking the Supreme Court order.

The Speaker reminded everyone to be mindful of the time limit since the trust vote has to be concluded by today.

“In your speeches, today, make sure that the dignity of the Assembly is kept alive. These are time-stalling tactics being used. It harms the image of the Assembly, the Speaker and also the image of you as MLAs,” he told the lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has turned down the urgent listing of the independent MLAs’ plea seeking a direction to conclude floor test in Assembly today.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that it will be impossible to list the matter for hearing today.

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.

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has already missed two deadlines set by 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.

There have also been reports that 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.

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

The Karnataka coalition government is teetering on edge of collpase as 15 rebel legislators, including 12 from the Congress and 3 JD-S, resigned from the house, and two Independents withdrew support.

The 14-month 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.

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.