Lawmakers of the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition and the opposition BJP reached the Karnataka assembly from various resorts today even as the monsoon session resumed amid uncertainty over the state government's survival after multiple resignations. The Business Affairs Committee later held a meeting to decide the date and time for the impending trust vote, news agency ANI reported.
"It's up to Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy to prove to the state that he enjoys majority. He has himself asked the Speaker to fix a time. Other business can continue after that is done. All our 105 MLAs are together," ANI quoted BJP leader Suresh Kumar as saying.
Meanwhile, the Congress and JDS continued with their attempts -- fruitless so far -- to bring back 18 rebels whose resignations have endangered their year-old coalition government. On Friday, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had sought time for a vote to prove his majority on the floor of the house and projected confidence that his government was stable.
The BJP's BS Yeddyurappa, a former chief minister, has called for a trust vote today.
Sixteen legislators of the JDS-Congress coalition and two independent lawmakers resigned from the state assembly last week plunging the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government into trouble.
If the resignations are accepted, the coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. Rival BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which takes its tally to 107.
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has yet to accept the resignations. He told the Supreme Court on Friday that he would need time to decide whether the resignations were coerced or voluntary. He also said many of the rebel lawmakers faced disqualification.
The Supreme Court has stopped the Speaker from either accepting the resignation or disqualifying any lawmaker till Tuesday.
Ten of the rebels, who flew to Mumbai after resigning and have been staying at the five-star hotel Renaissance, today wrote again to the police asking for protection against Congress and JDS leaders who may try to meet them.
The group, on court orders, flew to Bengaluru on Thursday and submitted their resignations again to the Speaker, who had rejected many of the letters claiming they were not in the correct format.
The Supreme Court today accepted appeals by five more rebel lawmakers who approached it against the Speaker not accepting their resignations. They will be heard tomorrow.
The rebels had approached the top court accusing the Speaker of deliberately stalling to help the ruling coalition.
Karnataka minister and Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar last week went to Mumbai to convince the rebel lawmakers to return. He has said his colleagues would "come back and save the government".
A key rebel, Congress's Ramalinga Reddy, may announce whether he plans to withdraw his resignation after talks with senior party leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday.
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