A day that saw a lot of drama in the Karnataka Assembly ended with HD Kumaraswamy government surviving yet again, after Speaker KR Ramesh adjourned the session till Monday, on which the trust vote will take place.
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.
The Speaker’s decision was met with angry protest by the BJP lawmakers, while the ruling coalition members seemed relieved.
Calling the decision a gross injustice, Karnataka BJP state President BS Yeddyurappa said that the second deadline set by the Governor, which was 6 pm on Friday, has not been respected.
Hopeful of a final outcome till about an hour before the adjournment, Yeddyurappa had requested the Speaker to respect the Governor’s direction to finish the vote that day itself and had added that they were ready to sit peacefully till late in the night.
At one point, even the Speaker seemed inclined to get the voting over with despite, CM Kumaraswamy’s pleading to protect himself from the Governor’s letter.
“I leave the decision on the floor test to you (the Speaker). It won’t be directed by Delhi. I request you to protect me from the letter sent by the Governor,” Kumaraswamy said.
But the Speaker insisted that he wanted the job finished on Friday itself as he had “to face the world”. “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion. I cannot be guilty of dragging proceedings,” he said.
Meanwhile, former CM and Congress’ Siddaramaiah lent support in the opposition’s chorus to delay the voting, saying, “Start voting only after the CM has spoken. Let’s finish this on Monday”. He told the Speaker that the MLAs had the right to speak and even though the governor and the BJP wanted it finished today, no one can infringe on the rights of the members.
Senior Congress leader H K Patil requested the Speaker to create an atmosphere conducive for the legislators who are holed up outside the city to attend the session. At this, Ramesh refuted the claim saying that no MLA or any of their family members has sought protection from him amid allegations by the Congress that rebel lawmakers were being held captive to bring down the government and it is a non-issue.
Kumaraswamy missed the deadline for voting set by Governor Vajubhai Vala, who had directed the Chief Minister to prove the majority by 6 p.m. after the 1:30 p.m. deadline he set on Thursday night had lapsed.
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.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition government is teetering on the verge of collapse as 15 of their MLAs resigned from the assembly while two independents too withdrew their support to the alliance and aligned with the BJP.