Bahujan Samaj Party MLA in Karnataka N Mahesh on Sunday said he would not attend the floor test in the state Assembly on Monday following party President Mayawati’s directions, ANI reported.
“I had my personal work so I could not go to the session,” India Today TV quoted him as saying. “My high command has told me to abstain from voting on trust motion, so I will not attend the session on Monday and Tuesday. I will be in my constituency.” He represents Kollegal in Chamrajnagar district in the legislature.
The debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was held on Thursday and Friday but both days the sessions ended without the trust vote despite the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demands. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar did not hold the floor test on Friday despite two ultimatums by Governor Vajubhai Vala.
At least 16 MLAs from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) ruling coalition initially resigned from the Assembly since the beginning of the month, plunging the state into a crisis. But one of them – Ramalinga Reddy of the Congress – came back to the party fold last week. The others moved the top court, urging it to direct Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations. On July 17, the court gave Kumar time to decide on the matter within an appropriate time frame, and also said the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the floor test.
Two days later, Kumaraswamy and Pradesh Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao filed petitions in the Supreme Court, urging it to clarify its order. The petitioners said their parties had the right to issue whip to their MLAs.
The ruling coalition’s strength in the 225-member Assembly is 118, including the disgruntled legislators and a nominated member. With the support of two Independent legislators, the Opposition BJP has 107 MLAs.