Kumaraswamy’s Coalition Govt Falls in Karnataka

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MLAs of Congress and JD-S protest in the Karnataka Assembly, in Bengaluru on July 22, 2019. — IANS

Caravan News

BENGALURU — Finally, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday lost the trust vote on the floor of the state Assembly by 6 votes after a four-day debate on the confidence motion he had moved on July 18 and the coalition government of the Congress and Janata Dal Secular – teetering for weeks — collapsed on Tuesday.

“Chief Minister H.D.Kumaraswamy has lost the floor test, as 99 votes were in favour of the confidence motion and 105 against it,” Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told the members of the House after the floor test held after 6 pm deadline passed.

Of the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, 20 were not present in the House for the floor test.

While adjourning the House late on Monday night, the Speaker had directed the Chief Minister to ensure that the ruling JD(S)-Congress alliance members completed the debate on his motion by 4 p.m. and his own reply by 5 p.m. so that the floor test could be held by 6 pm by the division of votes.

As 17 of their legislators were absent from the Assembly on Tuesday, it seemed the endgame had come for Karnataka’s 14-month-old JD-S-Congress coalition government.

Of the 17 missing legislators, 12 of the Congress and 3 of the JD-S are rebels who resigned from the Assembly and are holed-up at a star hotel in Mumbai while other two Congress members are in private hospitals in Bengaluru and Mumbai for treatment.

Though two Independents, who resigned as ministers on July 8 and pledged support to the BJP were not seen in the Assembly since the 10-day monsoon session began on July 12, the opposition party is hoping they would be present at the time of voting against the motion.

With 17 members absent, the effective strength of the 225-member Assembly at the time of voting was expected to be 208 on Tuesday, with 105 the new halfway mark.

Resignations by 15 rebel legislators of the ruling combine from their Assembly segments since July 1 have reduced the 14-month-old shaky coalition government to a minority, forcing a trust vote on the floor of the House.

The Congress strength has been reduced from 79 to 65, but this includes the Speaker, who can vote only in the event of a tie. Similarly, the JD-S strength has come down from 37 to 34.

After the fall of the coalition government, Karnataka Congress said evil has triumphed momentarily but ultimately truth will prevail.

Congress leader HK Patil said people of Karnataka will not tolerate this betrayal of the party by the rebel MLAs.

Karnataka Congress calls confidence motion a temporary defeat for democracy. “A temporary defeat for democracy. The defeat of Karnataka by the conspiracy of the anti-constitution, anti-democratic, RSS / BJP.”

Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti calls it a dark day for Indian democracy.

BJP, however, increased its activities to form the new government as they have 105 MLAs at present. As the rebel MLAs’ resignations have not been accepted by Speaker and only after the acceptance the MLAs will decide whether to join BJP or not. If they join BJP then party’s strength will increase in the Assembly.

“It is a majority for BJP, we will form a stable government,” said BJP leader Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday after the vote.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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