Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday said he was confident that the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka would survive the floor test, which was requested by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday after 16 of the coalition's legislators and two independents resigned casting doubts on the government's longevity. He claimed the BJP was scared of the floor test because of the "black sheep" in the party.
"We are confident. That is why we are moving a vote of confidence motion. The BJP is afraid because they know there are black sheep in their party," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Mr Kumaraswamy declared on Friday that he was ready to seek a trust vote to prove his majority on the floor of the house, and asked the Speaker to fix a time. After that statement, each party, the Congress, Janata Dal Secular and the opposition BJP, arranged to move their lawmakers to resorts to prevent '"poaching" attempts.
Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar has not accepted the resignations of the rebel lawmakers yet. If he does, the coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which takes its tally to 107.
The rebels and Mr Kumar had moved the Supreme Court over the resignations earlier this week. The court had ordered the Speaker to decide on their resignations by yesterday evening. Ten lawmakers met the Speaker with blank papers and submitted their resignations again, before flying to Mumbai where they have camped since resigning.
The Speaker told the court on Friday that he had not decided on the resignation letters of the dissidents.
Later, the court ruled that the matter would not be decided until Tuesday, giving a reprieve to the teetering coalition.
"In view of the weighty issue that have arisen, we are of the view that the matter be considered by us on Tuesday. We are of the view that the status quo as of today with regard to the prevailing situation be maintained. Neither the issue of resignation nor that of disqualification be decided till Tuesday," the court said.
With inputs from ANI