Karnataka crisis: confidence vote on July 22

Governor’s second direction also ignored, Speaker adjourns Karnataka House

July 20, 2019 12:26 am | Updated 12:31 am IST - Bengaluru

More time:  Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy holding talks with MLAs in the Assembly on Friday.

More time: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy holding talks with MLAs in the Assembly on Friday.

Despite two directions from Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to hold the trust vote on Friday, the process got put off to Monday , with Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar adjourning the Assembly.

All eyes are now on the Governor’s possible moves, while the Congress-JD(S) government seems to have got another chance to hang on at least till Monday. Coalition leaders are hopeful of the tide turning in their favour in the Supreme Court.

The adjournment came after a protracted discussion on whether a Governor could set such deadlines at all, but only after the Speaker extracted an assurance from the Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah that the trust vote would not be postponed beyond Monday.

While the Governor’s first letter to the Chief Minister sent on Thursday had set 1.30 p.m. on Friday as the deadline to prove his majority, the strongly-worded second one gave him time till the end of the day. The Governor had also sent a communiqué to the Speaker the previous day stating he desires a floor test by the end of Thursday.

In his second letter to the Chief Minister, the Governor expressed suspicion that “detailed debates and discussions appear to be merely to delay the floor test.”

He said, “I am receiving various reports about the attempts being made for horse-trading. This can be averted only and only if the exercise of conducting floor test is conducted at the earliest and without any delay.”

He added that these facts and circumstances convey “a very sorry state of affairs.”

However, the debate through the day in the House was around the Governor’s right to set deadlines when the process of trust vote is under way in the House. The Chief Minister took exception to the letter and said, “The Governor cannot act as an ombudsman of the legislature.” He said that he was “pained by the second love letter from the Governor.”

Rural Development Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said the Governor could not set deadlines once the Chief Minister has moved the confidence motion and accused the BJP of “misusing” Constitutional offices, amid shouts of “Go back Governor” from the treasury benches.

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