Karnataka crisis: House adjourned without floor test, BJP legislators plan all-night protest
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has asked Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold the floor test on Friday by 1.30 pm.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday asked Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold the floor test by 1.30 pm on Friday. The Assembly was adjourned in the evening, with no floor test held. Proceedings will resume on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Assembly discussed a motion on trust vote. This came a day after the Supreme Court passed an interim order saying 15 rebel MLAs from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) cannot be forced to attend the Assembly proceedings. The court also granted Ramesh Kumar the liberty to decide on the MLAs’ resignations within an appropriate time frame.
Sixteen disgruntled legislators have stepped down since July 1, plunging the state into a crisis. However, Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy made a U-turn on Wednesday and said he would vote in favour of the government during the trust vote. The ruling coalition’s strength in the 225-member Assembly is 118. With the support of two Independent legislators, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs.
Here are the top updates of the day:
9.12 pm: Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has written a letter to the chief minister asking him to prove majority on the floor of the Assembly by 1.30 pm on Friday, ANI reports.
8.49 pm: “Today on floor of the house, MLA Madhu Swamy [BJP] said ‘the same Supreme Court which helped you to sit there is helping us’ it means whatever judgement came out of SC, he has categorically misused it’,” ANI reports.
8.33 pm: BJP MLA Prabhu Chavan arrives at Vidhana Soudha with a bed sheet and pillow, ANI reports.
8.19 pm: “We are demanding voting on the motion but the chief minister is reluctant to take it up as he has confirmed himself that he has lost confidence of the house and the people,” BS Yeddyurappa tells ANI. “Everybody knows Congress-JD(S) have only 98 MLAs, we have 105.”
6.29 pm: The Karnataka Assembly has been adjourned till Friday, without a trust vote, ANI reports. BJP MLAs will sit on an overnight dharna in the Assembly to demand that the Speaker reply to the governor’s letter and hold a floor test.
6.08 pm: The Assembly session has been adjourned for 10 minutes amid ruckus in the House, News9 reports.
6 pm: Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claims BJP is desperate to usurp power by subverting the Constitution. He tweets that the saffron party, in its haste, may end up doing the opposite instead.
5.55 pm: “Governor shall not interfere in the proceedings of session as per the Constitution,” Congress MLA HK Patil says in the Assembly, ANI reports. “I request governor to not to intervene in the proceedings of the session.”
5.49 pm: Congress members move to the well of the House raising slogans “down down BJP” holding photographs of MLA Srimanth Patil, The Hindu reports.
5.43 pm: Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda wonders how the BJP’s demand for a trust vote and the governor’s message to the Speaker are the same, The Hindu reports.
5.39 pm: The BJP has demanded that the Speaker take a decision on the governor’s advice immediately, News9 reports.
5.29 pm: Karnataka BJP chief Yeddyurappa says the trust vote must be held on Thursday even if Assembly proceedings go on till midnight, ANI reports.
5.13 pm: “Motion of confidence is in consideration at the house,” the governor says in his message to the Speaker, ANI reports. “Chief minister is expected to maintain confidence of the house at all times. Consider trust vote by the end of the day.”
5.07 pm: The Congress objects to the governor’s message to the Speaker, News9 reports.
5 pm: Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote on Thursday itself, News9 reports.
4.43 pm: The governor’s special officer visits the Assembly to witness the trust vote proceedings, News9 reports.
4.35 pm: Karnataka Congress MLA Shrimant Patil has been shifted to Mumbai’s St George Hospital from Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Centre, ANI reports.
4.27 pm: “Chief minister had fixed today for vote of confidence but when the motion was moved and debate started, Siddaramaiah, Krishna Byre Gowda and HK Patil moved point of orders,” BJP leader Jagadish Shettar says according to ANI. “We have requested Governor to direct the Speaker to continue the debate on vote of confidence.”
4.18 pm: Speaker Ramesh Kumar meets the advocate general and seeks advice from him about the trust vote, News9 reports.
4.13 pm: BJP leaders meet Governor Vajubhai Vala and ask him to tell the Speaker to hold the floor test immediately, News9 reports.
4.04 pm: Speaker adjourns House for 30 minutes as ruling and Opposition MLAs cause ruckus, reports The News Minute.
3.52 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asks Home Minister MB Patil to contact family members of congress MLA Shrimanth Patil. “Give a detailed report to me by tomorrow, it does not look natural,” Kumar says, according to ANI. “If Home Minister can’t ensure protection, I will talk to DGP [director general of police].”
3.47 pm: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy says every decision taken by the Speaker is crucial, reports News9. “I am not tempted by trappings of power.”
3.45 pm: Kumar says: “In your oneupmanship and power struggle, you’re all not thinking about what is happening to democracy. I’m tired of this. How long should I be a witness to all of this? The people are watching us!”
3.43 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asks if Shrimanth Patil’s letter can be accepted, reports The News Minute. “How can I accept this as natural?” he asks. “It is on a letter pad - forget about me, how can a Speaker accept such a letter? I have nothing to do with what the parties want. But can I accept a letter without even a date?”
3.40 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says: “If there’s an allegation that [Congress MLA] Shrimanth Patil was kidnapped, it’s a criminal complaint.” Kumar says he received an undated letter from Shrimanth Patil on Thursday morning, “which said he was unwell and taking treatment in St George Hospital and therefore will not be able to attend the session”, reports The News Minute.
3.38 pm: Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao claims BJP is directly involved in poaching Congress legislators, reports News9. He presents photos of Shrimanth Patil’s flight tickets to Mumbai.
3.33 pm: BJP legislator CT Ravi rubbishes Dinesh Gundu Rao’s allegation that BJP was involved in taking away Congress MLA Shrimanth Patil. “Chief Minister is yours,” Ravi says, according to The News Minute. “Home Minister is yours. Shrimanth Patil was in your custody, not ours.”
3.31 pm: Congress MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao claims he can prove that BJP has a hand in Congress MLA Shrimanth Patil suddenly being in hospital in Mumbai, reports The News Minute. “He was well last night,” says Rao. “Why did he need to travel all night to Chennai, and then head to Mumbai from there? There are hospitals near the resort where we were staying last night.”
3.26 pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar presents photographs of Congress MLA Shrimanth Patil admitted at a hospital in Mumbai. “I’m asking the Speaker to protect our MLAs” Shivakumar says, according to The News Minute.
3.23 pm: BJP leaders are likely to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala and request him to direct Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold floor test on Thursday, reports News9.
3.14 pm: Karnataka Assembly proceedings resume, reports News9.
3.10 pm: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao says the Supreme Court has created a constitutional crisis by infringing on the legislature, The Hindu reports. “The Supreme Court in its interim order has said the 15 MLAs cannot be compelled,” Rao says. “This is the crisis. Let the Supreme Court decide on it in its final order. Till such time we appeal the Speaker to adjourn the confidence vote.”
1.45 pm: Congress leader Siddaramaiah presents two options to the speaker – says he can either go to the Supreme Court and seek a solution or not conduct the trust vote at all, reports News9.
“Till we get clarification on Supreme Court’s previous order, it is not appropriate to take floor test in this session which is against the Constitution,” ANI quotes him as saying. The MLAs take lunch break, and will reconvene at 3 pm.
1.38 pm: Siddaramaiah complains that he has not been able to speak during the time allotted to him, says it is his right as Congress Legislature Party to issue a whip, reports News9.
1.29 pm: State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa calls on the Speaker to start the trust vote. “You apply your whip at other times,” The News Minute quotes him as saying. “But what does that have to do with the trust vote?” Congress leader DK Shivakumar accuses the BJP leader of attempting to misguide the nation and the Supreme Court.
1.05 pm: Speaker Ramesh Kumar says he has to take a decision on the resignations and address concern raised by Krishna Byre Gowda, reports News9. He rejects Jagadeesh Shettar’s request to disallow Gowda’s point of order.
1.04 pm: BJP MLA Madhuswamy asks why Congress leader Siddaramaiah did not submit a notice about the point of order, and give the BJP time to prepare the questions raised. “We came here for chief minister’s trust vote,” The News Minute quotes him as saying. “And now we are debating point of order!”
12.59 pm: Congress leader Krishna Byre Gowda urges Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to decide on the resignations of the15 rebel MLAs before the trust vote, reports News9.
12.55 pm: Congress leader HK Patil says the alleged infringement of political parties’ right to issue whip can establish a dangerous precedent that will impact all political parties, reports The Hindu. Patil urges the Speaker not to proceed with the trust vote without clarity on this.
12.42 pm: BJP MLA JC Madhuswamy accuses the ruling coalition of dragging on the discussion on the confidence motion despite not having the numbers to stay in power, reports News9.
12.40 pm: BJP accuses Siddaramiah of delaying the floor test, and demands immediate trust vote, reports News9.
12.32 pm: Siddaramaiah moves a point of order, saying that since he is not a respondent to the Supreme Court petition he can issue a whip to Congress MLAs, reports The News Minute. Speaker Ramesh Kumar accepts the point of order and says whip will apply. “You can either implead before the SC or not, it’s left you,” The Hindu quotes Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar as saying. “You are at liberty to act as per your rights under Tenth Schedule. The House will in no way infringe on your rights.”
12.29 pm: The Congress leader says he is now concerned about his right to issue whip to his party’s MLAs in view of the Supreme Court’s interim order, reports The Hindu. Siddaramaiah adds that neither he nor his party were party to the petition in the top court. BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa tells Speaker that the Congress could have filed an impleadment motion.
12.25 pm: Congress leader Siddaramiah tells the House that the Supreme Court’s interim is silent on the whip issued by the ruling parties, reports News9. “It is indirectly curtailing my right under Tenth Schedule of Constitution, when we are not even party to the petition,” The Hindu quotes him as saying.
12.15 pm: Siddaramaiah accuses the Opposition of launching a “nefarious plan to topple the government”, reports News9.
12.13 pm: Congress leader Siddaramiah alleges political atmosphere in the country has been polluted, reports News9. The former chief minister and Congress leader quotes rules relating to disqualification of members, forcing his predecessor Jagadish Shettar of the BJP to object to the ruling coalition’s alleged tactics to delay the trust vote.
12.03 pm: Siddaramaiah says defection is a big blow to the foundations of Constitution, and a menace that corrupts politics, reports The Hindu. He says anti-defection law has not been struck down either by the Supreme Court or Parliament.
11.58 am: Congress MLA Srimanth Patil, who went missing last night from the resort where the party legislators were staying, is in Mumbai, reports The News Minute. News agency ANI tweets the photo of the MLA in a hospital in Mumbai. He apparently complained of chest pain.
11.54 am: Siddaramaiah resumes his address after a brief disruption. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar assures he will give both the Opposition and the treasury benches ample opportunity to make their points. He requests members to maintain decorum, reports News9.
11.47 am: Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh, and Congress MLAs Nagendra B and Srimant Patil are also not in the Assembly, reports The News Minute.
11.40 am: Congress Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is now addressing the Assembly.
11.40 am: HD Kumaraswamy admits his government is riddled with challenges and hurdles. “We need to unite and work for the development of Karnataka,” News9 quotes him as saying.
11.38 am: BSP legislator N Mahesh is not present in the Assembly, reports ANI. Earlier, reports had said he would remain neutral during the trust vote proceedings.
11.37 am: The chief minister talks of the constitutional crisis in the state. “I have not come just because there is a question on whether I can run a coalition government or not,” ANI quotes him as saying. “Events have shown that even the role of the Speaker has been put under jeopardy by some legislators.”
11.36 am: HD Kumaraswamy challenges the BJP to prove the corruption allegations against his government, says rebel MLAs levelled baseless accusations against him, reports News9.
11.28 am: Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy has met Siddaramaiah and confirmed he was withdrawing his resignation, reports The News Minute.
11.25 am: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has tabled the confidence motion in Vidhana Soudha, reports News9. He alleges the rebel MLAs went to the Supreme Court with the BJP’s help.
11.22 am: The Assembly session has started, reports News9.
11.11 am: The rebel MLAs Mumbai refuse to budge, remain firm on their resignations and say will not make a U-turn like Ramalinga Reddy, reports News9.
11 am: Bahujan Samaj Party MLA N Mahesh will remain neutral during trust vote, reports News9.
10.56 am: Karnataka Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy has arrived at Vidhana Soudha, reports ANI.
10.40 am: A BJP delegation is set to meet Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and request him to end trust vote proceedings today, reports News9.
10.28 am: Congress MLA Srimanth Patil has gone missing after leaving the resort where the party’s MLAS were put up, reports News9. He reportedly told party leaders that he was going to a medical shop.
10.23 am: BS Yeddyurappa tells reporters that the BJP is 101% confident of defeating the government’s confidence motion. “They are less than 100 [MLAs], we are 105,” ANI quotes him as saying. “There is no doubt that their motion will be defeated.”
10.21 am: Congress Legislature Party chief Siddaramaiah has arrived at Vidhana Soudha, reports ANI.
10.19 am: State BJP President BS Yeddyurappa and the party’s MLAs have arrived at Vidhana Soudha, reports ANI.
9.55 am: The Congress MLAs are set to leave their resort at around 10 am, according to News9.
9.50 am: Congress MLA Srimanth Patil is likely to skip the Assembly session today because of health problems, reports News9. Congress minister DK Shivakumar reportedly lost his cool with Congress legislators after Patil left the resort they are staying in.
9.45 am: Section 144 has been imposed in a 2-km radius around the Vidhana Soudha ahead of the floor test, reports News9. Rapid action force personnel and water cannons have been deployed.
9.40 am: The floor test is scheduled to begin at 10.30 am, reports The Indian Express.
9.30 am: Here are the articles published on Scroll.in on Wednesday on the Karnataka crisis:
- Karnataka: Supreme Court has undermined anti-defection law by giving rebel MLAs choice on trust vote
- Karnataka crisis: BS Yeddyurappa says SC ruling is a ‘victory of Constitution and democracy’
- Karnataka Congress calls Supreme Court’s verdict on rebel MLAs a ‘bad judgement’
- Karnataka crisis: Rebel Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy says he will vote in favour of trust motion