Kumaraswamy government fails to prove majority, is now history
While Tuesday saw the fall of the Kumaraswamy led JD(S)- Congress alliance government, the person who hogged the most attention ever since the crisis broke was the Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today lost the confidence vote in the State Assembly with 105 MLAs of the BJP voting against his JD(s)- Congress alliance government; he could get only 99 votes in favour.
While Tuesday saw the fall of the Kumaraswamy led JD(S)- Congress alliance government, the person who hogged the most attention ever since the crisis broke was the Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. He first declined to accept the resignations of the rebel MLAs, then delayed his decision eventhough the Supreme Court 'directed' him to do so. And all through the trust vote discussion, Ramesh maintained high level of conduct for himself and the assembly. His role in the whole episode will be remembered for long.
The opposition BJP termed the end of the Kumaraswamy government the “end of an era of corrupt, unholy alliance,” while promising “a stable and able governance” for the state. The latest crisis for the alliance government began with two Congress rebel MLAs submitting their resignations to the Speaker on July 1. Eleven more MLAs from the Congress and 3 from the JD(S) followed suit.
On the fourth day of the marathon trust vote discussion, in his concluding remarks, outgoing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said he was “not going to run away” and that the “BJP is in a hurry.” He claimed that, "we have delivered on our promises every single time.. work was based on intuition, not superstition.” It was a dig at BJP legislative party leader and Chief Ministerial aspirant BS Yeddyurappa, known for his belief in astrology and temple visits.
“I’m fed up with the current political developments. I'm ready to sacrifice my post," Kumaraswamy said. A trust vote for the Kumaraswamy government was forced after 13 Congress MLAs, 3 JD(S) and 2 independent members switched allegiance and went to the opposition.
Kumaraswamy lashed out at the rebel MLAs before the floor test. "The rebels will be disqualified. Their political career will come to an end," he said.
Tension gripped Bengaluru city hours before the trust vote after protests broke out in the posh Race Course Road area. Prohibitory orders were imposed for the next 48 hours in Bengaluru, according to agency reports. Police ordered bars and wine shops to close as Congress and BJP workers clashed over the news of two Independent MLAs, who switched sides, holed up in a flat in the area.
Kumaraswamy had moved the confidence motion on Thursday. The debate on the motion prolonged to Friday and the ruling coalition defied two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to complete the vote on that day. On Monday, the debate remained inconclusive and the Speaker set 6pm on Tuesday as a new deadline.
During the debate, the Congress represented by senior minister Krishna Byre Gowda sought a decision on the resignations before the trust vote. The rebel MLAs had approached the Supreme Court seeking a directive to order the Speaker to accept their resignations kept pending by the Speaker despite an order from the Court to decide on it “at the earliest”. The court had in its order also asked the Speaker not to enforce the party whip on the MLAs.
The Karnataka state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113. The ruling combine's strength (including the rebels) is 117, besides the Speaker. The opposition BJP has the support of 107 MLAs which includes the two independent MLAs who changed sides recently.