BENGALURU: “It is easy to assassinate a person’s character, but those defaming a person should look at themselves first,” said Speaker Ramesh Kumar, as he began Friday’s proceedings.
Agitated and emotional, Kumar was grim and tough through the first half of the session, but softened his posture during the second half of the session. He declared that he was sitting on a “seat of fire”.
Chiding members at times, pleading for order at others and expressing absolute disgust at intervals, he adjourned the House to Monday, seeking an assurance from the coalition leaders that the trust vote would be put to test on the same day.
“You (legislators) are out to kill those who live honourably, for your greed, lust and transactional politics. Let everything come out. Let the people decide where politics stands in Karnataka today,” said a disgusted Kumar, as allegations of horse-trading and disappearing MLAs were raised.
“There is no question of me succumbing to pressure. A person who can pressure me has not been born yet,” he said with filmi swag, when the BJP insisted on concluding the voting process on Friday, and the coalition insisted otherwise.
“Unless the discussion on the motion of confidence is complete, you cannot press for division. According to regulations, there is no opportunity to go for division without discussion. I know you are in a hurry, but I will go only by the rules.
"It is up to the Chief Minister to respond to the letter the Governor wrote to him,” he told an adamant BJP insisting that the governor’s directive to prove majority before 1.30pm be adhered to.
“BJP leaders won’t get provoked, no matter how much you try,” Ramesh Kumar joked when the coalition’s Srinivas Gowda dragged BJP national president Amit Shah’s name into the controversy of “bribing MLAs”.
Breaking the convention of adjourning the House in the afternoons on Fridays, the Speaker extended the session, much to the chagrin of coalition MLAs, in an attempt to begin discussions on the confidence motion, but the process never took off.
“I cannot be seen to be allowing the coalition to drag proceedings to delay the trust vote,” Speaker said, asking the Congress-JDS to specify the time they need to present discussions.