Karnataka Assembly Drama Drags On, Speaker Says Trust Vote By 6 pm Today

Karnataka crisis: Sixteen legislators - 13 from the Congress and three from JDS - have resigned in the last two weeks, and two independent legislators have withdrawn support to the coalition government

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Trust vote: Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has summoned rebel lawmakers on Tuesday

New Delhi/Bengaluru:  The Karnataka assembly was adjourned close to midnight on Monday, with Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar giving a fresh deadline for the trust vote -- 6 pm on Tuesday. "I do not want this 11 pm thing again. Everyone has health conditions," the Speaker said at the end of a turbulent day. The house witnessed chaos as the Speaker turned down Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's request for more time before the floor test and the BJP insisted on sitting till midnight if need be. The coalition has been asked to prove majority after its 16 lawmakers resigned and two independents withdrew support. The BJP has accused the Chief Minister of delaying the trust vote in hopes of reprieve from the Supreme Court.
Here's your 10-point cheat sheet on this big story:
  1. The house was adjourned twice, once for more than two hours on Monday evening amid much slogan shouting. The slogan shouting continued even after it reconvened and the exasperated Speaker was heard saying that they could continue till "10 pm, 11 pm".  Amid the chaos, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy distributed copies of what he claimed was a fake letter of resignation that was being circulated by his political rivals.
  2. "The leaders Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy had said that the voting will happen today. I am here till even 12 am. We will listen to everyone. We expect the vote at the end of it," said state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa, who earlier expressed confidence that today "will be the last day of the Kumaraswamy government".
  3. The BJP has accused the government of dragging out its final days using lengthy speeches in the assembly to delay a floor test it is certain to lose after 18 exits.The coalition has accused the BJP of trying to draw away lawmakers to seize power.
  4. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar earlier indicated that the trust vote will be held today, saying he wishes to stick to his word and asked the lawmakers to cut short their speeches. "I want to stick to my word. Let's wrap up the speeches soon," said the Speaker, who earlier nudged the coalition government to hold the test of strength on Monday.
  5. There were reports that the Speaker had asked the rebel lawmakers of the Congress-Janata Dal Secular alliance to be present in the assembly by 6 pm. The lawmakers, who have stationed themselves at a Mumbai hotel, said they would not attend the assembly under any circumstances.
  6. Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar told NDTV that he was trying to convince the rebels to comply with the party whip. "Whatever BJP wants and whatever these members want, the rebels will suffer in the end... They will be disqualified. 100% the constitution provides for this. No one can save them," he told NDTV.
  7. On Friday, no trust vote could be held despite two deadlines from Governor Vajubhai Vala. The house was adjourned after marathon speeches by Mr Kumaraswamy and a few other coalition leaders.
  8. Two Independent legislators who have withdrawn support to the Congress-JDS government urged the Supreme Court to order a floor test. The court may take up their petition tomorrow. HD Kumaraswamy and the Congress have also moved the top court, accusing the governor of interfering with the assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was underway and sought clarification on its July 17 order, which they said, stopped them from issuing a whip to the legislators.
  9. Sixteen legislators -- 13 from the Congress and three from JDS -- resigned in the last two weeks, and two independent legislators withdrew support to the coalition government. Congress rebel Ramalinga Reddy appears to have returned. But Srimanth Patil, a Congress legislator, made his way to Mumbai. He hasn't resigned and says he is unwell. The ruling coalition received miniscule relief when Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati directed her party's lone legislator in Karnataka, N Mahesh, to support it.
  10. The coalition had 118 members in the 224-member assembly. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the government will be left with 101 members. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators, which is two more than the majority mark of 105.




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Highlights

1
Karnataka assembly adjourned close to midnight on Monday
2
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar gives fresh deadline for trust vote
3
Speaker turns down Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's request for more time

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