As the Karnataka coalition government braced for the numbers game in the Assembly, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy moved a one-line motion, saying that the House expresses confidence in the ministry headed by him.
The Congress-JD(S) coalition government is hanging by a thread after 18 lawmakers — 13 from the Congress, three from JD(S) and two Independents — withdrew their support to the ruling government.
Congress leader and former CM Siddaramaiah said that it was not appropriate to take the floor test in the session as there has been no clarification on the resignation of the rebel MLAs.
“Till we get clarification on Supreme Court’s previous order, it is not appropriate to take a floor test in this session which is against the Constitution,” he told the House.
He further said that in the event of a confidence motion going ahead, it will be a big loss to the coalition government if the whip is applicable and the rebel MLAs do not attend the session because of the Supreme Court order.
“The Supreme Court order influences MLAs who are not attending the House and the proceedings. When a vote of confidence is taken up, they will not be here. This is a huge setback for the coalition. I seek clarification on this,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also requested the House to postpone the motion till there is a clarification from the apex court.
“As the outcome of anti-defection law has its implications on confidence motion, I would like to request to postpone the motion till we get clarification from SC,” he said.
Meanwhile, after the first session, Siddaramaiah tweeted: “The interim order of the Supreme Court with respect to the 15 defectors seems to have encroached upon my right as a leader of Congress Legislature Party. I requested the Speaker to clarify on this issue and I thank him for upholding my rights.”
Earlier, as soon as the trust motion was moved by Kumaraswamy, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said the trust vote process should be completed in a single day, to which Kumaraswamy taunted that “the Leader of Opposition seems to be in a hurry”.
Ahead of the trust vote, Yeddyurappa expressed confidence that the motion would be defeated.
“We are 101 per cent confident. They are less than 100, we are 105. There is no doubt that their motion will be defeated,” he told media.
HD Kumaraswamy had on Wednesday issued whip to all 37 MLAs of JD(S) including three rebel legislators Narayana Gowda, Gopalaiah and H Vishwanath to be present in the Assembly at the time of trust vote.
However, according to reports, 20 MLAs are not present in the Assembly. These include 15 rebel MLAs, two Independents, two Congress MLAs and lone BSP MLA.
All of the saffron party’s MLAs are present.
During the discussion on the point of order earlier in the day, the Tenth Schedule was repeatedly mentioned. The Tenth Schedule is popularly known as the anti-defection law. The law enables disqualification of Members of Parliament (MPs) and MLAs who defect.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar was free to decide on the resignations of 15 rebel MLAs adding that he “cannot be forced to take a decision within a time frame”.
However, the court said that the Kumaraswamy government cannot compel the MLAs to participate in the Trust motion.
The rebels welcomed the SC verdict adding that they will not attend the Assembly.
Earlier on Wednesday, following the apex court order on floor test, BJP President BS Yeddyurappa called for Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s resignation today.
Kumaraswamy had last week sought a floor test to prove majority in the Assembly.