Karnataka floor as it happened | Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru, ban on sale of liquor till 6 pm on Thursday

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy submitting his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy submitting his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday, July 23, 2019   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ayes: 99, Noes: 105.

The Congress-JD(S) government has lost the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, with 99 votes for and 105 against.

Six days after Chief Minister H.D Kumaraswamy moved a confidence motion in the Assembly, and after several demands to wind up the debate and put it to vote, the motion was finally put to vote on Tuesday evening.

"This is a victory of democracy. The 14-month Kumaraswamy government has been voted out," Mr. Yeddyurappa said after the vote.

Here are the latest updates:

11.30 p.m.

Greed won, democracy, honesty and Karnataka's people lost: Rahul Gandhi

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "From its first day, the Cong-JDS 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," he added.

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also tweeted, saying that the BJP would one day discover that everything cannot be bought.

"One day the BJP will discover that everything cannot be bought, everyone cannot be bullied and every lie is eventually exposed," she said.

"Until then I suppose, the citizens of our country will have to endure their unbridled corruption, the systematic dismantling of insitutions that protect the people’s interests and the weakening of a democracy that took decades of toil and sacrifice to build," she aded.

10.00 p.m.

Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru

High drama prevailed at an apartment in Bengaluru as Congress and BJP workers rushed there following reports about the alleged presence of two independent MLAs who withdrew support to thecoalition government and aligned with the BJP.

Amid the political turmoil, police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) (prevents assembly of five or more people at one spot) and banned sale of liquor from 6 pm Tuesday to 6 am on Thursday.

The development came even as the Karnataka Assembly was meeting at the Vidhan Soudha ahead of the trust vote.

The two independent MLAs, R. Shankar and H. Nagesh, had withdrawn their support to the government earlier in July.

Raising slogans like ‘Down Down BJP’, the Congress workers allegedly tried to storm the apartment. Soon police too reached there. BJP workers led by corporator Padmanabha Reddy dashed to the spot.

Police were seen persuading the actvists, who were trying to gain entry into the apartment, to disperse. “There is every likelihood that there will be protests, demonstrations and rallies, which may lead to clashes between the workers of political parties,” police commissioner Alok Kumar said in a release.

Expressing apprehensions that miscreants may disturb the atmosphere under the influence of liquor which may disturb peace and cause disruption in traffic, the police commissioner said there will be no sale of liquor from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning. “During this period, all the bars, wine shops, pubs and all kind of shops selling liquor will be banned,” the order said.

“Similarly, congregation of people, demonstration of weapons, taking out rallies, use of explosives and pelting stones will be prohibited. Taking out effigies will be prohibited,” it added.

- PTI

9.00 pm

 

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy submits his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala.

Karnataka floor as it happened | Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru, ban on sale of liquor till 6 pm on Thursday
 

Karnataka floor as it happened | Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru, ban on sale of liquor till 6 pm on Thursday
 

Karnataka's lone BSP MLA N. Mahesh has been suspended from the party for violating the party's direction to vote in favour of the coalition government.

7.40 pm

Kumaraswamy govt loses trust vote

The Speaker is now announcing the numbers.  Kumaraswamy govt loses trust vote. Those expressing confidence in the govt: 99

Those who don't have confidence in the govt: 105. CM loses trust vote by 6 votes. 

The four-days dragged-out session concludes with the National Anthem. 

House adjourned sinedie.

BJP celebrates on the floor of the house with Mr. Yeddyurappa waving the victory sign.

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly B.S. Yeddyurappa, and other BJP MLAs flash the victory sign after the trust vote, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly B.S. Yeddyurappa, and other BJP MLAs flash the victory sign after the trust vote, on Tuesday, July 23, 2019   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

 

With this the 14-day political drama comes to an end. And the next one will begin over formation of the next government.

6.30 pm

 

‘I am not the one to make a speech and run away’

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy speaks in the Karnataka Assembly on July 23, 2019.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy speaks in the Karnataka Assembly on July 23, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash

 

“I am not the one to make a speech and run away. I will stand for a vote. Let the division happen, Mr. Kumaraswamy says.

He takes objection to rebel MLA A.H. Vishwanath's statement that there was demonic politics in the State.

Speaker Ramesh Kumar says Mr. Vishwanath had not sought his appointment but submitted his resignation his office. "But he went to Supreme Court and made allegations against me. Let the world know who will give certificates to whom. He can't live like me even if he takes another 100 lives."

"I will say this is contempt of the house," Mr. Kumar says.

The Speaker says he has had a resignation letter to the Chair from today morning. He gives the letter to Leader of Opposition B.S. Yeddyurappa. I have come up in the light of Devraj Urs and K.H. Ranganath.

He says if the house was adjourned without a vote he wants to resign. “I do not want to go back on my word.”

Refering to Mr. Vishwanath, Speaker says a man who deserted Devraj Urs who brought him to public life was now talking of his character and later cautions Mr. Yeddyurappa of the kind of person he was.

Mr. Kumaraswamy says rebel MLA Gopalaiah accused him of not protecting him and his family. “His (Mr. Gopalaiah’s) family is caught in a murder case. Should I protect a person in a murder case,” he tells Yeddyurappa. “Now you are protecting him.”

“Who’s taking an MLA who is an accused in the IMA case?

“There were so many IT raids during Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Where are they now when MLAs are being traded for several crores? I do not see a single raid.”

The Chief Minister is lists funds allotted to constituencies of rebel MLAs in the past year. “No MLA has received funds less than ₹100 crore. At least seven MLAs have received funds for development work of more than ₹300 crore. And now they accuse the govt of neglecting their constituencies. Then why did they rebel now?”

Both Mr. Kumaraswamy and CLP leader Siddaramaiah announce on the floor of the House that there’s no question of taking back the defectors.

Mr. Siddaramaiah intervenes: “Many who have gone to BJP — Nanjegowda, Bangarappa, A K Subbaiah — everyone have come out disillusioned. The party has a culture of exclusion for outsiders.”

CM appeals to the Opposition to pass the Finance bill. “There is drought in the State and money needs to be disbursed. It's a personal request only if it's possible.”

CM concludes his speech. Motion put to vote.

Speaker presses for division of vote. Division bell sounded. Doors of the Assembly closed. No members can now come in. Division of the vote taking place.

The heads are counted row by row.  Deputy Speaker's vote counted. Speaker says though he has the casting vote he doesn't want to participate in the vote.

Division of vote completed. the wait for the numbers now. 

6.15 pm

Parties gear up for voting

There was a lot of activity in the opposition party lounge between 5.30 pm and 6 pm as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy rose from his seat to defend the trust vote, BJP legislators were asked to move into the house.

Former Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok was requesting senior leaders to enter the House. So much so that a former minister who was eating a short snack was asked to hurry, and that he could eat it after the vote.

Mr. Ashok was seen asking his staff to check the lounge to identify if any of the legislators still sitting there.

The BJP camp had remained extra cautious since afternoon, keeping an eye on the movement of all its legislators. The party had asked it's people to stay alert near the doors leading to the Legislative Assembly, and watch the movement if it's legislators.

6.00 pm

If I have achieved something during my tenure as CM it's all credit to my officers, Mr. Kumaraswamy says and lists out the achievements.

We have set aside 25,000 crore for farm loan waiver. Leader of Opposition has alleged I have cheated the farmers. I will never cheat my farmers, he says.

"Show me one case of corruption in my time. I haven't claimed TA/DA or even an official car. I am very cautious of spending public money," he says.

5.30 pm

I was never interested in politics: Kumaraswamy

“I am worried what kind of message we are sending out to the people. They must be wondering if I am keen on hanging on to my position. This hurts me,” says CM Kumaraswamy.

Addressing the Speaker, the CM says:

“My intention is not to disrespect your position. I seek an apology from 6.5 crore people of the Karnataka too.

“My wife put a condition that I shouldn’t join politics when I married her. I was never interested in politics. But today she is also sitting here in this house with me. That’s fate.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy says his father has always been opposed to him in politics while giving away his blessings to his brother H.D. Revanna.

Targeting the BJP for social media posts against him, the CM says, “They need to be introspected. Social media has turned out to be a big danger for our culture and youth."

“Yes, I tried till the last minute if I can win the trust vote. Many first time MLAs expressed concern over what will happen now. To save them, I tried to save this government," he noted.

The CM criticised the electronic media alleging that they are indulging in irresponsible character assassination.

"I have no sorrow. I will happily sacrifice this position," he asserts.

"I will tell even today I was ready to hand over power to BJP after 20 months," he recalls the coalition agreement between BJP and JD(S). When we formed that government no central leaders were involved. But while handing over power, central leaders intervened. They met Deve Gowda and sought an agreement. I did the hand over power to BJP and Yeddyurappa became Chief Minister. Even L.K. Advani was present at that swearing in. Mr. Yeddyurappa must remember that he came to me with an agreement asking me to sign that agreement, he says.

5.00 pm

Police arrest Congress and BJP members.

Police arrest Congress and BJP members.   | Photo Credit: Sampath Kumar G.P.

 

Two Independent MLAs H. Nagesh and R. Shankar are said to be holed up in an apartment on Race Course Road.

Congress workers stage a protest in front of the apartment even as BJP leaders are waiting at the entrance of the Vidhana Soudha gates to escort them into the Assembly in time for the vote on motion of confidence.

Police arrive at Race Course Road. Congress and BJP members clash and police arrest them.

4.45 pm

BJP will remain a black spot in Karnataka's history: Siddaramaiah

However we try to act smart, we are nothing before the common man outside the house, Mr. Siddaramaiah says.

How special protection was provided for rebels? Who escorted them? Who ferried them to the planes and who arranged their stay in the seven-star hotel in Mumbai? There are allegations that these MLAs have been paid ₹25 crore ₹30 crore. Where is this money coming from?

Earlier who had defected, lost since 2013. The same fate is awaiting those who have resigned now. It should happen, says Mr. Siddaramaiah.

You will remain a black spot in the history of Karnataka, he tells BJP.

4.20 pm

Is it not a shameful act to do wholesale trade of MLAs: Siddaramaiah

Siddaramaiah calls the defection of MLAs in the present scenario "wholesale trade". He asks the BJP why don't you admit to engineering defections? A cat thinks the entire world is closing its eyes when it closes its eyes and drinks milk. The entire state knows BJP is doing this.

"How can a government survive if theres a wholesale trade of MLAs? BJP needs at least 8 more to reach the magic figure of 113. So they have taken 15 MLAs." I don't think people of Karnataka will accept this undemocratic and unconstitutional way of doing it., he says.

BJP should understand that this will boomerang on them. It's very rare for a government based on defections to survive. "Mr. Yeddyurappa, it is very difficult for you to run this government with so many defectors. What happened in 2008? The defectors and your partymen said they had no trust in you. Did they allow you to be the CM for five years? The same independents and defectors who joined you through operation Kamala rebelled against you, Mr. Siddaramaiah tells Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Why don't you admit to engineering defections, he asks BJP.  "A cat thinks the entire world is closes its eyes when it closes its eyes and then tries to drink milk. The entire state knows BJP is doing this."

Mr. Yeddyurappa admitted that it was his voice in the Devadurga audio tape. I appreciate his honesty, he says. Given all the circumstantial evidence any lay man will arrive at the inference that BJP who is behind this defection, Mr. Siddaramaiah says.

4.00 pm

Mr. Siddaramaiah targets the BJP. In 2018, you had the support of just one independent member. How will you form the government without defecting our MLAs, he asks.

"You inaugurated a chapter of defection from that moment itself. Fortunately the Supreme Court gave you only 24 hours time for floor test. If you had got 15 days like the Governor had given, the murder of democracy that's happening now would have happened that day itself," he says.

While in Karnataka, the Governor called the single largest party in 2018, in Goa Congress was the single largest party but the Governor called BJP.

"In our pursuit of power we must not try to shake the deep roots of democracy in the country," he says.

BJP would have been a strong opposition. However, their desperate attempts to form government using anti-constitutional methods is condemnable, he says.

No elected government will survive if this disease of defection is not rooted out from our polity.

3.40 pm

He recalls under what circumstance the coalition government was formed. In terms of total vote percentage, we together have far outstripped the BJP's, he says. "They have more seats and we have higher percentage. That's the irony."

The Governor asked Mr. Yeddyurappa to form government and prove majority within 15 days, but the court asked them to prove with 24 hours. They didn't have the numbers. Then, we formed the government, he recalls.

Now Mr. Yeddyurappa has been repeatedly saying we have lost majority. Their horse trading attempts began from day one, Mr. Siddaramaiah says.

There was a congress MLA Gaya Lal  who defected thrice in a day... as Mr. Siddaramaiah says, the Speaker adds, that’s how the phrase of Ayaa Ram, Gaya Ram.

Lauding the Speaker's memory power, Mr. Siddramaiah says being politicians we should know history.

"None invited us to join politics, we have come on our own. Once we are in it we should respect and follow our ideologies," he continues.

People's right to exercise franchise should be accompanied with he right to economic and social independence. "No authority is above the Constitution. It is very very very clear," he says.

Mr. Siddaramaiah recalls the past coalition governments in the State.

3.20 p.m.

Youth Congress has started protesting against rebel MLAs  in front of the hotel they are staying in in Mumbai.

Heavy deployment of police outside the hotel.

2:50 p.m.

JD(S) Minister S.R. Mahesh says, "After the May 2018 Assembly Election results I suggested him that JD(S) must go with BJP and not with Congress, as Congress and JD(S) have been traditional rivals in the old Mysuru region. But Kumaraswamy argued the government was important for protecting secular values. He says he started his political career with BJP and spent nearly 18 years in the party.

"That BJP was very different. Then the leaders including B.S. Yeddyurappa when they came to Mysuru they used to never stay in hotels. They used to stay in homes of party workers. But today the BJP is a very different party," he says.

2:30 p.m.

Speaker Ramesh Kumar informs that he wouldn't adjourn the House for lunch break today. The House will be held continuously. MLAs may go have food and come in groups. He says the debate has to be completed by 4:00 p.m. and motion put to vote by 6:00 p.m.

2.15 p.m.

D.K. Shivakumar says he has moved a privilege motion against BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil. "He has given a statement that I have been co-operating with BJP to form an alternative government to protect himself from cases he has been facing from central agencies. I will take this to a logical end. I have decided to put a defamation against him for ₹2.04 crore. I will meet him in Bijapur court," he says.

DKS defends the governments decision to sell the land to Jindal arguing facilities for investors was a crying need to create jobs.

2.00 p.m.

Opposition leader B.S. Yeddyurappa has risen to speak.

Mr. Siddaramaia's whip in no way is applicable to the rebel MLAs, Mr. Yeddyurappa says.

Mr. Siddaramaiah replies: "Anti-Defection is in force in this country. It says that by their conduct, if they indulge in anti-party activity, they can attract disqualification. Another clause talks about violation of whip. And I have every right to issue a whip."

Now, Mr. Madhuswamy claims that Supreme Court today has given the MLAs immunity from whip. K.J. George demands a copy of the SC order cited by Mr. Madhuswamy.

"You are former CM and aspiring to be on the chair again. Dont say a whip has no value. Do not distort things and what is enshrined in the Constitution," D.K. Shivakumar to B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Mr. Shivakumar continues...

He recalls his visit to Mumbai to meet the rebel MLAs and says his own friends sought protection from police against him. "This has deeply hurt me. What prevents them from coming here and saying openly that they are against the government?" The Lok Sabha mandate, Mr. Yeddyurappa should remember, wasn't for him but for Mr Modi. mr. Shivakumar says.

"I have been facing harassment from ED and central agencies for protecting Congress MLAs from Gujarat. I have been a jail minister earlier and may be it's my fate that I may have to go to jail. But many great leaders here have gone to jail and come back to do politics here," he adds.

1.50 p.m.

 

"I contested Lok Sabha elections at the persuation of MLAs who are now in the rebel camp. I ignored the good counsel of my own family because they impressed upon me to contest. I feel personally betrayed by them. I also feel sorry for them because they are being grossly misled by them. They will suffer because their actions attract anti defection law," says Krishna Byregowda.

Mr. Shettar raises objections to this, saying this issue cannot be brought up when it is before the Supreme Court and the court has given them the option to stay away from the session.

There is a heated exchange between treasury benches and the opposition over this point.

1: 30 p.m

 

End this murder of democracy, says D.K Shivakumar

Congress leader D. K. Shivakumar says, "BJP has a mandate to run the country. You have an opportunity to change a system where horse trading is the norm. Take the lead and we will be with you. End this murder of democracy.

"I congratulate Mr. Yeddyurappa, the star of Operation Lotus," he says. In a tone of mock appreciation, he congratulates Mr. Yeddyurappa for his spirit of not giving up. "You are making a seventh untiring attempt to bring down the govt," he says.

He cites from one of the books of H. Vishwanath, one of the rebel MLAs now in Mumbai, where he mocks those who change party loyalty. "These honourable friends are now in Mumbai.

"I don't want to call the rebels, my Mumbai friends, dissatisfied people. I am sure they are more than satiated," he says.

1:00 p.m.

The Supreme Court has adjourned hearing till Wednesday on the plea of two independent MLAs seeking a direction to the speaker to forthwith conduct the floor-test in the House.

The decision was reached at after the, bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, considered the submission of senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, appearing for the Speaker.

Read more
 

12:05 p.m.

The Supreme Court records Karnataka Speaker's oral submission that the trust vote may be taken up in the Assembly in the course of the day.

AM Singhvi for Speaker says: "I am saying, it (trust vote) may be taken up today or tomorrow... I am just being optimistic."

11:20 a.m.

Lawyers of the rebel MLAs represent them before the Assembly Speaker regarding the disqualification proceedings against them.

Mr. Khadar says the trend of engineering defections to topple the government has created political instability in the State. In your quest for power you are weakening Anti-Defection Law, which will have long lasting implications, he tells BJP.

"The party with 112 members form the government in the State. But henceforth we may need 150 MLAs to have a stable government. How should we give tickets from the party? There's no sensor to detect who will fall prey to such inducements. Now after the by-elections if your numbers go up to 120, the difference is only 8. Can't we do the same to you what you are doing to us? We have that capability but will desist from doing so for power. This culture has created instability in the State in the last decade and a half," he says.

"I appeal to BJP to not give these rebel MLAs any posts or ministries in the coming government. You are anyway the only Patriots in the country. I appeal to your patriotism to restore the glorious political culture of the state. It is these MLAs who are wrecking the political culture and stability of the state," he adds.

11:00 a.m.

Congress MLA Tanveer Sait asks the opposition leaders that,  when there is a restriction on withdrawals above ₹2 lakh from banks how could they pay the rebel MLAs.

The comment triggers sharp response from the BJP members, as one of their MLAs claims that demonetisation had the intended impact of stopping terror funding and counterfeit currency. Congress leader Eshwar Khandre then says, given how demonetisation led to slump in the economy, loss of jobs and death of over 100 persons in queues, defending it is a crime.

10:40 a.m.

The 13 rebel MLAs from Congress and JD(S) have written to the Speaker stating that as per rules seven days notice is a must for disqualification and that they need four weeks time to appear.

"It is all related to court proceedings. It will all be dealt with in the court," says the Speaker in response to the letter sent to him.

Minister U.T. Khader speaking on the confidence motion says BJP's claims that they have the mandate of the people is misleading. "it was a fractured mandate and BJP though may have got 104 seats, the coalition government outnumbered them," he says.

Mr. Khader further says that the coalition government has shown how victims of natural disaster have to be rehabilitated in Kodagu, triggering opposition by BJP. Kodagu BJP MLA K.G. Bopaiah says the relief work was mired in corruption and many victims have not received anything.

10:15 a.m.

 

Assembly session begins with a JD(S) MLA A.T. Ramaswamy coming into the house from the treasury benches.

Mayhem erupts in the House as minister Priyank Kharge seeks adjournment of the House for a few minutes as Congress JD(S) MLAs are yet to come to the assembly.

Leader of opposition B.S. Yeddyurappa says the coalition government continuing in power without a majority was an assault on democracy. Senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar attacks the ruling coalition alleging that they are taking the session lightly disrespecting it.

 

9:00 a.m.

 

Five days after the motion of confidence was moved by Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, a vote in the Assembly was yet again deferred by a day after a heated debate continued till close to midnight on Monday.

The coalition leaders also argued that the Speaker’s ruling, on a point of order raised by CLP leader Siddaramaiah, that the legislature parties had a right to issue whip to its members, had to be taken into account now.

Earlier in the day, speaking on the motion, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda cited audio tapes of alleged conversations between rebel MLAs, their family members and the BJP leaders, media reports and photographs to allege that the 15 rebels were enticed with money and ministership. He argued that there was enough material evidence to show that the resignations were neither “voluntary” nor “genuine.”

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 1:21:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-political-crisis-july-23-2019/article28668194.ece

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