Bengaluru: In what could signal an end to the ongoing political crisis in the state after as many as 16 ruling Congress and JD(S) MLAs resigned from the Assembly, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy will move a confidence motion on Thursday in an attempt to prove that his 13-month old government still enjoys a majority in the House despite the withdrawal of support by so many legislators.
If the coalition’s efforts to get the rebel MLAs back on board fail in the next two days, the prospects of Mr Kumaraswamy winning the trust vote look pretty bleak as the numbers are stacked against him—the JD(S)-Congress combine will have the backing of only 100 MLAs (excluding the Speaker) as against the BJP’s 107 which includes the support of two Independent MLAs.
In the event of the CM failing to prove his majority, he will have to make his exit and the ball would be in the governor’s court. Mr Vajubhai Vala will then have the option of inviting the opposition BJP to form the government, said sources.
Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar announced on Monday that the confidence motion sought to be moved by Mr Kumaraswamy, would be taken up at 11 am on July 18. The date has been fixed after consulting both opposition and ruling coalition leaders at the Business Advisory Comm-ittee meeting, Mr Kumar said and adjourned the Assembly till Thursday as demanded by the BJP.
The opposition party maintained that the government has been reduced to a minority with a big chunk of MLAs quitting and hence opposed the conduct of House business till the trust vote though the government wanted to conduct business as usual. With BJP members warning that they would boycott Assembly proceedings if any business was conducted before the confidence vote was taken up, it was decided to adjourn the Assembly till Thursday, Mr Ramesh Kumar said.
Though the government wanted to wait only till Tuesday, when the Supreme Court is slated to deliver its judgment on the disqualification and resignations of the rebel MLAs, the lunar eclipse on Wednesday which is considered inauspicious, virtually forced a postponement of the confidence vote to Thursday, said sources.
Keeping up pressure on the Speaker and government, the BJP sought to move a no-confidence motion against the Kumaraswamy government with its members J.C. Madhu Swamy, K.G. Bopaiah and C.M. Udasi submitting a notice, but they later agreed to the trust vote schedule. The opposition members also wanted the trust vote to be taken up on priority but the Speaker explained that the rules and precedents give him time up to 10 days to conduct a confidence vote after the notice is issued.