Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday suggested in the assembly that a floor test will not be appropriate until there is clarification on the Supreme Court order allowing freedom to the 15 rebel lawmakers from participating in the house proceedings.
"It is not appropriate to take a floor test in this session which is against the Constitution," he said participating in the debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today.
Siddaramaiah also stated that the rebel MLAs not coming to house will be a big loss to the coalition government. "If we go ahead with the confidence motion, if the whip is applicable and they (rebel MLAs) don't come to the house because of the SC order, it will be a big loss to the coalition government."
Siddaramaiah's assertions were vociferously opposed by opposition members.
The Supreme Court in its judgement on Wednesday had said that the MLAs of the Congress - JD(S) coalition in Karnataka should not be compelled to take part in the proceedings of the State Assembly.
Congress leader DK Shivakumar also accused the BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa of misguiding the nation and the Supreme Court.
"Being a former Chief Minister, being the leader of the opposition, he (BS Yeddyurappa) is misguiding the nation, misguiding the court", Mr Shivakumar said in Vidhan Soudha.
Interestingly, during the proceedings, the Congress' chief troubleshooter was also seen speaking with BJP MLA B Sriramulu in the Assembly.
Earlier, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh had said the leader of Congress Legislature Party can exercise his authority on issues like a whip against absentee members without any interference from his office.
"This House holds Supreme Court in the highest esteem. Let me make it clear to the leader of Congress Legislature Party that this Office is not restraining you from exercising any of your authority. I've no role to play in that", he said during the debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy earlier in the day.
Moving the motion, Mr Kumaraswamy launched a veiled attack on BJP and said, "I have self-respect and so do my ministers. How can I live with this and not discuss this? I have to make clarifications. Who is responsible for de-stabilising this government? The Vidhan Soudha is in the pages of Parliamentary history for its conduct. It is not important if the coalition survives, but we must discuss this conspiracy to weaken democracy."
Meanwhile, as per the register of attendance, 18 MLAs were not present in the Assembly as the House took up the vote of confidence for debate.