Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (PTI file)
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy (PTI file)

Karnataka governor asks Kumaraswamy to complete floor test by today itself

  • The governor’s insistence on completing the floor test today has added to the political drama in Karnataka, which is inching towards a constitutional crisis
  • At least 20 legislators of the coalition have not attended the ongoing session discussing the confidence motion moved by the chief minister

Bengaluru: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Bala on Friday wrote to chief minister H.D Kumaraswamy asking him to complete the floor test by the end of the day today, after the 1.30 pm deadline was ignored.

This is the governor’s second letter to Kumaraswamy. The governor in his letter on Thursday had asked Kumaraswamy to prove his majority by 1.30 PM on Friday.

"When the allegations of horse trading are widely made and I am receiving many such complaints it is constitutionally imperative that the floor test be completed without any delay and today itself," Bala wrote in his letter.

The governor’s insistence on completing the floor test today has added to the political drama in Karnataka which is inching towards a constitutional crisis.

Legislators of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) coalition argued at length that the governor cannot direct the assembly.

Assembly speaker K. R. Ramesh Kumar said he would not be able to take up the trust vote unless all discussions on the ongoing confidence motion, moved by Kumaraswamy, is completed.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the coalition of prolonging the process despite not enjoying a majority.

At least 20 legislators of the coalition, including the 15 rebels, have not attended the ongoing session discussing the confidence motion moved by the chief minister.

"Discussion on confidence motion is still going on. A total 20 MLAs have given their names to speak on the issue & they have complete right to speak on the floor of the house. Only after this, the vote can be placed!!," Siddaramaiah, the Congress legislature party leader wrote on Twitter.

Coalition legislators, during the ongoing discussion on the confidence motion, claimed they were offered crores of rupees by the BJP to switch loyalties.

Srinivas Gowda, JD(S) legislator, said he was offered 5 crore to switch sides. He named two BJP legislators-- Ashwath Narayan and S.R.Vishwanth--and former legislator, C.P.Yogeshwar, of offering money. Several other coalition legislators also made similar allegations, but BJP legislators did not protest.

Assembly speaker Kumar said he will permit all allegations to go on record and that "all the filth should come out" before the people.

"The business of the house is business," Kumar said and lamented the revelations of horse trading which has pushed Karnataka closer to a constitutional crisis.

"@BJP4Karnataka is under tremendous pressure as they consider this as a form of trade business. Now that they have made their payments to few, they want to assume power as they wish. But that is not how our Parliamentary democracy works!!," Siddaramaiah wrote on Twitter

The Congress had alleged that its legislator, Srimant Balasaheb Patil, has been kidnapped by the BJP. But in an email, purportedly sent by Patil, the legislator informed the speaker of his absence and dismissed reports that he was kidnapped.

Sixteen Congress and JD(S) legislators have resigned since 1 July and two more have withdrawn support to the government pushing the year-old Kumaraswamy-led coalition government towards an imminent collapse.

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