Speaker defends decision, says Assembly was convened for tabling motion of confidence
BANGALORE: Indignant over Legislative Assembly Speaker Krishna's decision to recognise H.D. Kumaraswamy as the new leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party, Congress legislators and Ministers trooped into the well of House shouting slogans against Mr. Krishna.
Mr. Krishna called upon Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh to table the motion of confidence a couple of times, and when the appeal went unheard, he adjourned the House sine die.
Mr. Krishna said the purpose of calling the House to session was to give Mr. Dharam Singh an opportunity to prove that he enjoys the confidence of the House. But since several appeals to him to move the motion went unheeded, he had no option but to report the events to the Governor after adjourning the House.
Although the House met on Friday for establishing whether Mr. Dharam Singh enjoyed majority, much time was spent on a debate over the presence of two officials from the Raj Bhavan in the officials' gallery, followed by obituary references to 24 eminent persons who died since the House last met.
Mr. Krishna was barely audible amidst the din of Congress members shouting, "Speaker down" and "Speaker go away". After repeatedly trying to restore order, he adjourned the House for 10 minutes at 5.45 p.m.
When the House met again, the members resumed slogan-shouting but Mr. Krishna managed to make himself heard. He asked Mr. Dharam Singh to move the motion of confidence and begin the exercise of proving whether he still enjoyed majority support.
Mr. Dharam Singh said: "In a situation like this we expect justice from you." He felt hurt at the turn of events. "This has never happened in the history of this House," he added.
He told Leader of the Opposition B.S. Yediyurappa, who was insisting that the House get on with the business at hand: "We are here to seek a vote of confidence and we will seek it. I am seeking a clarification from the Speaker. Just now the House is not in order and members are in the well of the House. How can I seek the confidence of the House?"
Mr. Krishna replied there is no need for any clarification since the House is meeting at the direction of the Governor, and it is a constitutional obligation that he must fulfil.
When Congress members refused to return to their seats and continued to shout slogans, Mr. Krishna adjourned the House.