MLAs skip trust vote, Government behind in numbers

Karnataka political crisis LIVE: Trust vote today, govt teeters on edge

"However, it has been reported to me that the proceedings of the House today for vote of confidence has been stalled and consequently adjourned without reaching any finality".

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday made a passionate speech at the floor of the house in the state assembly while moving a confidence motion to prove majority of the Congress- JD (S) government amidst rebellion by a section of the lawmakers.

Yeddyurappa claimed that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had lost his majority and must resign on Thursday, when the Assembly holds a trust vote.

Interestingly, after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on Wednesday, Kumaraswamy's pictures seeking blessings of almighty at a temple was beamed on television channels. "Until then taking up the confidence motion will not be right", Siddaramaiah said, adding that it could lead to violations of constitutional provisions.

The court has ruled that 16 MLAs can't be forced to attend proceedings of the House, they can't be forced to take part in the confidence vote and the three-line whip issued by the Congress and JD (S) to vote in favour of the government does not apply to them.

"SC's order nullifying the whip, and by extension operation of Constitution's 10th Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a bad judicial precedent, he tweeted". "This would deal a big blow to the Congress". Taking an unusual route, BJP submitted a memorandum to the governor during the lunch break, asking him to convey this message to the assembly speaker.

Exasperated by the delay in the trust vote, the BJP sent a delegation to the governor to direct the speaker to conclude the voting process by the end of the day, a request the governor acted on.

"Governor shall not interfere in the workings of the House", declared senior Congress leader H.K. Patil.

The Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition government in the state is just 13-month-old.

Article 175 (1) of the Constitution states: "The Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, either House of the Legislature of the State, or both Houses assembled together, and may for that goal require the attendance of members".

On Thursday, the coalition found itself short by 20 legislators, according to leaders on both sides, including 15 lodged in a Mumbai hotel. "BJP has forcefully taken him to Mumbai and is now staging a drama that he is unwell and hence can't attend the House", Shivakumar alleged, distributing enlarged photos of Patil lying on a supposed hospital bed.

The coalition blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for engineering the defections in Karnataka and other states.

Congress's Karnataka chief Dinesh Gundu Rao insisted that Siddaramaiah's point of order needed to be debated on and couldn't be skirted for the trust vote to take place, "Since our rights are infringed upon, he has raised this". During the floor test in the Vidhana Soudha today, the chief minister has to move a vote of confidence and win a majority in the house to save his government. "We have to tell the truth", he said.

The assembly will reconvene on Friday.

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