Karnataka turmoil: two trust votes in 10 days

Endless parleys and behind-the-scenes drama

Hectic parleys were witnessed on Monday evening after Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar adjourned the House for 10 minutes. But it took nearly two hours to resume even as the BJP camp was hoping to bring closure to the trust vote.

While Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah was speaking with Congress legislators inside the House during the break, parallel meetings were being held at the Chief Minister’s chamber, with senior Ministers meeting Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to strategise their moves.

A little later, a delegation of top leaders of the coalition government, including Mr. Kumaraswamy, Mr. Siddaramaiah, and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, met the Speaker.

Sources said that while the BJP delegation had made it clear to the Speaker that they were unwilling to relent and allow the House to be adjourned for the day without the trust motion put to vote, Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress leaders tried to impress the Speaker to adjourn the House to Tuesday so that the trust vote could be taken up on Tuesday.

JD(S) sources said the argument for the adjournment was that the Supreme Court would take up the matter on powers of party to issue whip on Tuesday morning, and that they could wait till then. “Rebels can return based on the court direction,” they said.

Another point that they raised before the Speaker was that since he had asked rebels to appear before him on Tuesday, the House should wait for them to return. “While the Speaker has allowed the point of order raised by Mr. Siddaramaiah to issue the whip, rebels should be given reasonable time for them to return,” sources said.

Meanwhile, Congress and JD(S) sources said that while the leaders were fighting a legal battle in Supreme Court as well as within the House, Mr. Kumaraswamy, who appealed to the rebels to return on Sunday, is still trying to reach out to the rebels. “Mr. Kumaraswamy is confident of convincing at least four legislators to return, and more time in the House would augur well for the coalition,” said sources.

While the JD(S) and Congress legislators continued to speak inside the House, the delay seems to be frustrating the BJP camp that was expecting a closure on Monday evening as promised by Mr. Ramesh Kumar, Mr. Siddaramaiah, and Mr. Kumaraswamy.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:26:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/endless-parleys-and-behind-the-scenes-drama/article28662063.ece

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