Karnataka crisis: Trust vote for coalition government likely on July 17, say sources

Speaker says confidence motion is CM’s prerogative; Kumaraswamy ahead of BJP in Assembly strategy; 3 rebel MLAs fail to show up despite Speaker’s summons

Published: 13th July 2019 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2019 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Speaker Ramesh Kumar during the Assembly Session at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru Friday. | (Vinod Kumar T | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Friday said it was the Chief Minister’s prerogative to move the motion of confidence, but added that his office should be informed a day earlier.

“I have told the CM that he should let me know one day earlier and I will include the trust motion in the next day’s agenda. I guess he will ask for a trust vote soon. I can’t tell him when to do so,” Ramesh Kumar told the media.

A decision on when the confidence motion will be moved is likely to be taken on Monday. Sources indicated that it will most likely be held on July 17.

“It’s a tactful move, considering the precarious situation we are in,” said a minister of the coalition.

While the BJP is still contemplating on approaching the Governor or moving a no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister with support for the coalition dropping to 101 as against BJP’s 107, Kumaraswamy seems to have thought two steps ahead.

While Speaker Ramesh Kumar insisted that rebel MLAs’ plea being heard in the Supreme Court will have no bearing on a trust vote, if held, the coalition hopes to move the confidence motion before the Apex Court delivers its final order on the rebel MLAs’ plea.

Until their resignations are accepted by the Speaker, all 13 Congress MLAs and the three JDS MLAs will be considered as members of the parties and will be bound by the whip.

Refraining from voting or cross-voting during the motion will be considered a violation of the whip, thus attracting action under the anti-defection law. The coalition hopes to ride on this legal provision to dissuade rebel MLAs from deserting the government.

Meanwhile, three rebel MLAs — Pratapgouda Patil, Anand Singh and Narayana Gowda — who were summoned by the Speaker refused to turn up and explain the causes of their resignations.

With the hearing of rebel MLAs pleas pending before the Supreme Court, at least 10 continue to be in Mumbai out of reach of the coalition leaders.

BJP leaders, while agreeing that the move by Kumaraswamy was unexpected, added that now was their time to exercise more caution.

“Only obituaries were on the agenda, but we do not know why the CM brought up this topic. We firmly believe that his government has lost majority and he should immediately resign,” said K S Eshwarappa.

Kumaraswamy’s proposal has dented the BJP’s grand plan of first disrupting the session, waiting for more resignations and then moving a no-confidence motion.

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