Bengaluru: The political drama played out through the night in Karnataka Assembly as BJP MLAs slept on the floor of the House, seeking an immediate Trust Vote. The BJP legislature party members, led by State BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa, were seen having discussions, dining together and sleeping on the green floor and the Well of the House.
Latest reports this noon said that Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar will meet Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala when the House adjourned for lunch at 2 pm. BJP’s J.C. Madhuswamy urged the Speaker to complete the Floor Test by 1.30 pm and this did not happen. Amidst the discussion, Congress and JD(S) MLAs raised slogans against the Governor and accused him of working as ‘a BJP agent’. Ruling party MLAs shouted “Governor Go Back” slogans. They alleged that the Governor is setting deadlines for Floor Test at the behest of BJP.
Minister R.V. Deshpande told the Assembly: “This is the first time that the Governor has sent a message to prove majority. The Governor has the right to issue directions before a motion is moved. But after a motion is moved, it is the domain of the Speaker and Governor cannot interfere”.
Replying to this, Yeddyurappa said, “Governor has directed to complete Trust Vote by 1.30 pm. That is why we are pressing for a Trust Vote.” “I can’t agree for vote as it is against the procedure. Governor’s directions are for the State Government, not me. It is their responsibility. Unless the discussion is complete you cannot compel me for a division of votes (Trust Vote),” said Speaker Ramesh Kumar.
The BJP has accused Congress-JD(S) Government of dragging its feet on the Floor Test, despite being moved by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. The BJP was expecting a floor test before today afternoon as Governor V.R. Vala had directed Kumaraswamy to prove his majority by 1.30 pm.
The Assembly yesterday began to debate the Trust Vote and the JD(S)-Congress members were filibustering to delay the vote. Even today, the discussions continued after the Assembly convened at 11 am.
Soon, Speaker Ramesh Kumar spoke and expressed his anguish as aspersions were cast on his Chair. “Those who hurl slurs at my character, look back at what your life has been. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t have lakhs of money stashed up like others. I have enough strength to take a non-partisan decision despite such slurs,” he said.
Moments later, CM Kumaraswamy said, “After 14 months, we have come to the final stage. I had no clue about becoming the CM. I have no fears about losing this seat. My family is not behind power,” he claimed.
Turning towards Yeddyurappa, Kumaraswamy said, “Let’s have discussion. You can still form government. Nothing is urgent. You can do it on Monday or Tuesday also. I am not going to misuse power,” he said. “Legislators were offered Rs. 40-50 crore. Whose money is it, said Kumaraswamy hitting out at BJP.” He also accused BJP of resorting to ways to circumvent the Anti-Defection Law.