Karnataka turmoil: two trust votes in 10 days

Karnataka Assembly: Congress-JD(S) government loses trust vote

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy during the trust vote on his government in the Assembly on July 23, 2019. Photo: ANI

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy during the trust vote on his government in the Assembly on July 23, 2019. Photo: ANI  

Confidence motion moved by the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition is defeated by 6 votes

The 14-month Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in Karnataka collapsed on Tuesday, with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy losing the confidence motion in the Assembly by six votes. He later tendered his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala.

With the BJP announcing its decision to stake a claim to form a government, the transition of power and return of its State president B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister is imminent.

Heated debate

The motion was put to vote late in the evening, six days after Mr. Kumaraswamy moved it and after a protracted and heated debate on the issue of 15 resignations from the ruling parties allegedly engineered by the BJP. Though the outgoing Chief Minister was aware that the numbers were stacked against him, he said he “would not run away” from the House and resign, but put the motion to vote.

As Mr. Yeddyurappa also demanded that there be a division of vote, Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar counted the votes row by row. While 99 MLAs expressed confidence in the government, 105 opposed the motion. He announced that the motion was defeated and adjourned the House sine die.

In a House of 225 MLAs (including one nominated), 20 MLAs were not present at the time of voting. They were 15 rebel MLAs who have resigned — 12 from the Congress and 3 from the JD(S) — 2 Congress MLAs who abstained for health reasons, 2 Independents and the lone BSP MLA.

A jubilant Mr. Yeddyurappa termed the fall of the government as a “victory of democracy.”

He said after the trust vote, “A new era of development will begin in the State from tomorrow. My priority has always been farmers and I assure them that I will work towards their welfare.”

In a tweet outgoing Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “From its first day, the Cong-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka was a target for vested interests, both within & outside, who saw the alliance as a threat & an obstacle in their path to power. Their greed won today. Democracy, honesty & the people of Karnataka lost.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy warned that the political instability, caused by engineered defections, would boomerang on the BJP.

CLP leader Siddaramaiah squarely blamed the BJP for the fall of the government. “The BJP that used money and muscle power has won in the numbers game, but has lost morally,” said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

The 2018 Assembly polls had thrown up a fractured mandate. The numerical strength of parties, in the the House of 225, stood at 105 for BJP, 78 (Plus, one of Speaker) for Congress and 37 for JD(S). The Congress and JD(S) had come together to form a coalition.

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The article has been edited to correct a spelling error in the headline.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 8:56:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-assembly-congress-jds-goverment-loses-trust-vote/article28689149.ece

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