Karnataka crisis: Speaker adjourns House, sets 6 pm deadline for trust vote
State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa demanded that a floor test be held by midnight.
The coalition government in Karnataka was scheduled to face a floor test in the Assembly on Monday, after missing two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday. However, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asked for two more days to conduct the vote of confidence. He also showed a fake letter circulating on social media that said he had tendered his resignation to Vala. By Monday evening, the Speaker had set a deadline for the trust vote to take place by 6 pm on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court refused to urgently list a plea of two Independent MLAs, seeking a direction to Karnataka Assembly Speaker to complete a floor test before 5 pm on Monday.
The ruling coalition’s strength in the 225-member Assembly is 118, including 15 disgruntled legislators who have resigned since the start of the month and a nominated member. The Opposition BJP has the support of 107 MLAs, including an Independent legislator and an MLA from the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party. The rebel MLAs want Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations.
Kumaraswamy and Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao have filed petitions in the Supreme Court, seeking clarity on its order that the rebel MLAs cannot be forced to vote on the confidence motion.
11:43 pm: The House has been adjourned for the day after Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that the vote would happen tomorrow. The Speaker said the vote would take place by 6 pm on Tuesday.
10.40 pm: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao asks the Speaker to adjourn the House, as there are many patients and women in the Assembly, News9 reports. Industries Minister KJ George also makes the same appeal.
10.34 pm: DK Shivakumar warns rebels, says they could be disqualified under Article 164 of the Tenth schedule, News9 reports. He adds that this is not a warning but a notice.
10.18 pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar says the Speaker has served a notice to rebel MLAs, giving them time till 11 am on Tuesday, reports ANI. “BJP is trying to convince them that they won’t be disqualified & they will be made ministers,” he says. “As per Constitution of India, you can’t be made a member once you’re disqualified.”
9.53 pm: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy says he has got information that he has resigned, holding up a document, ANI reports. “I don’t know who is waiting to become CM,” he adds. “Someone has forged my signature and spread the same on social media. I’m shocked at the cheap level of publicity.”
9.47 pm: “Don’t push me to a point where I’ll have to take a decision without asking you,” Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar tells the House, ANI reports. “The consequences will be disastrous.”
9.44 pm: “After the Supreme Court takes a decision tomorrow, then it’ll be right to speak and debate on this issue [trust vote],” says Congress MLA HK Patil according to ANI.
9.37 pm: BJP leader Madhuswamy tells Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to bring the House to order and take up voting, reports PTI.
8.50 pm: BS Yeddyurappa urges Speaker to conduct floor test by midnight, News9 reports.
8.35 pm: The Assembly session has resumed after a long break, News9 reports.
7.13 pm: Speaker holds a meeting with BJP MLAs Sunil Kumar, Basavaraj Bommai, CT Ravi and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders Sa Ra Mahesh, HD Revanna, Bandeppa Kashempur in his chamber in the Vidhana Soudha, ANI reports.
6.50 pm: MLAs continue to stay inside the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru even as the session has been adjourned for 10 minutes, ANI reports.
6.27 pm: Public Works Department Minister HD Revanna holds a meeting with the Speaker, News9 reports. He requests the Speaker to postpone the trust vote.
6.20 pm: The Assembly session is adjourned for 10 minutes amid ruckus in the House, News9 reports.
6.15 pm: The BJP has stayed silent during most of the proceedings, but there is now an uproar in the House, The Hindu reports. Ruling party MLAs demand they all be given time to speak before the motion is put to vote. The BJP wants the vote held instantly.
6 pm: MB Patil has asked for a meeting with Bengaluru Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar to discuss zero traffic reportedly given to rebel MLAs when they came back to Bengaluru to meet the Speaker, ANI reported.
5.47 pm: Congress MLA Eeshwar Khandre claims BJP introduced Karnataka to horse trading and “resort politics”, News9 reports.
5.34 pm: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asks for two more days to conduct the floor test, News9 reports.
5.28 pm: JD(S) MLA AT Ramaswamy walked out of the Vidhana Soudha after MB Patil’s statement. “If home minister is lying blatantly in front of the House, how can I stay here?” he asks.
5.20 pm: Congress MLA HK Patil says the home minister should investigate the matter, ANI reports. “MB Patil will have to gather more information and he has to find out who gave the permission [for zero traffic],” he says.
5.14 pm: Karnataka Home Minister MB Patil says the rebel MLAs were given security only because the governor asked for it, ANI reports. “Zero traffic was not provided to them,” he adds.
4.55 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says he has given his word that the vote of confidence will be held today, News9 reports. He says the coalition has given its word that it will prove its majority.
4.49 pm: Rao says that governor should save democracy, ANI reports. “Until MLAs return, they get the majority the Assembly will go on,” he laments. “This being done by Speaker is unacceptable. Today a full stop should be put to all this.”
4.40 pm: BJP National General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao says JD(S)-Congress coalition is violating constitutional rights, ANI reports. “Democracy is being murdered. Court has allowed the 15 MLAs (rebel MLAs) that they may or may not be present there,” Rao says. “They [Karnataka government] don’t have the numbers, they’re in minority.”
4.37 pm: Ramaswamy says that Opposition has more power than ruling party, News9 reports.
4.35 pm: Ramaswamy attacks the Bharatiya Janata Party, The Hindu reports. “Why did you abdicate your responsibility as an Opposition by constantly trying to pull down the government”, he questions.
4.26 pm: AT Ramaswamy says that danger lurks the constitution if the backdoor entry to power is allowed by way of resignations, News9 reports.
4.16 pm: Ramaswamy requests the Speaker to consider the resignations of the rebel MLAs, News9 reports. “The rebels who have resigned and remained absent for the session are saying they’re not hungry for power and wont shift their loyalties,” he says. “But I want to ask if they’re being honest about it. I will request CM to consider their resignations.”
4.09 pm: Ramaswamy says that the government will stand on the strength of the numbers, reports The News Minute. “There is deficit rain. There is drought in 156 taluks out of 175,” he adds. “The groundwater level has gone down and the lack of drinking water has already become a problem. In this situation, we are discussing about our powers instead of important issues like that.”
4.06 pm: JD(S) MLA from Arkalgud AT Ramaswamy questions the Assembly if it is not collapse of democracy if all the three parties have MLAs in resort, reports News9.
4.00 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh says that each member in the Assembly will speak only for 10 minutes, ANI reports. “Don’t make me say this again and again”, Ramesh says.
3.57 pm: Siddaramaiah says in the Assembly that those who are blessed by people will form the government but others should not use black magic to grab power, reports News9.
3.55 pm: Siddaramaiah says if the dissident MLAs come back they can then be with Congress, ANI reports. “Rebels have told that they are not living comfortably, they could have stayed back here itself,” he says.
3.51 pm: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah says that the Speaker will take a call on confidence motion, ANI reports. “We have already told that we will prove the confidence in Vidhana Soudha,” he says. “Case is pending in Supreme Court. We have also filed the petition, most probably tomorrow Supreme Court will hear our plea.”
2.25 pm: Session adjourned for lunch till 3.30 pm, reports News9.
2.22 pm: Gowda says Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to eliminate all parties and they are fighting for equal opportunity, News9 reports.
2.20 pm: Krishna Byre Gowda says if the Speaker does not take a decision on the resignations, this dilemma will continue. He insists that either they should not be MLAs or they will have to be present in the house, News9 reports.
2.15 pm: Congress is asking the Speaker to make a decision on disqualification of the MLAs soon and then hold the trust vote, reports The News Minute.
2.12 pm: Gowda says that Supreme Court has said that only Speaker can decide on the resignations, News9 reports. There is no clarity in Supreme Court interim order, he adds.
2.07 pm: Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda says rebel MLAs have shifted their loyalties and that they have an ulterior motive, News9 reports. He also says that evil of political defection is a matter of national concern.
2.02 pm: The BJP asks Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy “to resign and go” if he has faith in the Constitution and people of the state. BJP is running a hashtag in Kannada that says “people of the state will not forgive you.”
1.43 pm: Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda says BJP is poaching MLAs in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and West Bengal. “How can BJP deny meeting rebel MLAs in Mumbai?” he asks, according to News9.
1.40 pm: Congress leader DK Shivakumar says BJP should accept they have spoken to rebel MLAs, reports ANI. “Why is the BJP not accepting it wants the chair?” he says. “Why are they not accepting the fact that they are behind ‘operation lotus’? They should accept that they have spoken to these (rebel) MLAs.”
1.34 pm: Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda says the plane which flew rebel MLAs to Mumbai is associated with a company connected to a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP, reports Hindustan Times.
1.30 pm: Congress MLA DK Shivakumar claims the BJP is behind the crisis in the state, reports Hindustan Times. “We’re not influencing you, but let them [BJP] agree that they are behind this, then we’ll stop this discussion,” he says. “But we must know why this trust vote is being held.”
1.26 pm: Gowda mentions BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa’s personal assistant Santhosh and his involvement with the rebel MLAs, reports The News Minute. “Santhosh’s name has come in the media, is he not party to the BJP?” asks Gowda. Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says Santhosh is not an MLA. Gowda asks again: “Who are the BJP leaders with the rebel MLAs in the airport? Don’t they have a role?”
1.20 pm: Krishna Byre Gowda says: “Why have MLAs grouped up? According to BJP, all these rebel MLAs have coincidentally grouped together. Without warning, these people woke up in the morning and decided to group up together?”
1.15 pm: “I will provide evidence to prove BJP is involved,” says Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda. “There is another conversation in which I am not taking names.” Gowda reads out a conversation where an MLA is heard saying there is a case against him, and another person says he’ll take the responsibility. “A second person says we’ll solve everything, we’ll even get them ticket for by election,” Gowda quotes from the conversation, according to Hindustan Times.
12.56 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says documentary evidence has to be submitted while making allegations. “If you don’t have the evidence then I’ll have to rethink this,” he says, according to Hindustan Times.
12.51 pm: Anand Murthy, an advocate, files a plea in the Karnataka High Court, alleging that the trust vote in the Assembly is being deliberately delayed, reports ANI.
12.48 pm: “We will submit all documents relating to Operation Kamala,” Krishna Byre Gowda tells Speaker, according to The News Minute.
12.45 pm: Congress’s Krishna Byre Gowda claims there is evidence to show Ramesh Jarkiholi, a rebel MLA, has been in touch with the BJP, even during the Lok Sabha elections, Hindustan Times reports. “Next is BC Patil, he aspired for a ministerial post but didn’t get it,” says Gowda. “I want to submit a conversation to the House. Patil says ‘no amount was set’... The other person says quote the price, and he says ‘25, but I have to clarify with others as well’,” says Byregowda, referring to a leaked conversation between Patil and BJP’s B Sreeramulu.
12.40 pm: Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda says BJP alleged that the government is in minority after MLAs resigned. “They could have moved a no-confidence motion but did not,” News18 quotes him as saying.
12.37 pm: “The Opposition is pressing for an immediate division of votes and the MLAs are behaving as if this isn’t related to them,” says Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, according to Hindustan Times. “I want to speak about who these MLAs are and why they’ve resigned. The media isn’t discussing this. The opposition says it’s not related, but let’s see.”
12.31 pm: “Speaker said whip will be considered under the Tenth schedule,” says Congress MLA Krishna Byre Gowda, according to News9. “This will give out a message to the rebels.”
12.30 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says parties have a right to issue a whip to all their MLAs, and the MLAs may or may not respect the whip, reports The News Minute. If MLAs do not follow the whip, the leaders of the parties may approach the Speaker later for disqualification.
Kumar refuses to send a message to rebel MLAs on possible disqualification, saying it was unnecessary.
12.19 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says floor test has to be held today, reports The News Minute. “I have already said that this (the Congress-JDS trust vote) should be finished today,” he says, according to Hindustan Times.
12.17 pm: BJP MLA Madhuswamy says the trust vote should be discussed, but it should not be delayed. “We want trust vote by the end of the day,” News9 quotes him as saying.
12.15 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar asks MLAs to maintain dignity of Assembly while delivering speeches, reports ANI. “These are time stalling tactics being used,” he says. “It harms the image of Assembly, Speaker and also image of you as MLAs.”
12.13 pm: Speaker says the whip applies to rebel MLAs also, reports News9.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had argued in the Assembly on Thursday that the Supreme Court’s interim order was silent on the whip issued by the ruling parties. “It is indirectly curtailing my right under Tenth Schedule of Constitution, when we are not even party to the petition,” he said, The Hindu had reported.
12.11 pm: “Don’t make me a scapegoat by delaying this [proceedings] further,” Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar tells the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress, according to The News Minute.
12.09 pm: “I was delayed as I was checking for the Supreme Court order,” says Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, reports News9.
12.07 pm: Assembly session begins, reports News9.
12.05 pm: Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar says BJP delegation met him and asked for floor test to be conducted on Monday itself, reports The News Minute.
12.01 pm: The Assembly session which was scheduled to resume at 11 am is yet to begin, reports The News Minute.
11.58 am: During his meeting with the Speaker, Kumaraswamy said the Supreme Court is yet to respond to his petition seeking clarification on the matter of whip issued to legislators, The Indian Express reported. The Speaker is yet to respond to Kumaraswamy’s request.
11.45 am: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy requests Speaker to hold floor test in the Assembly on Wednesday, reports News9.
11.30 am: A BJP delegation meets Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar ahead of Assembly proceedings, reports The News Minute. The delegation requested the Speaker to hold the floor test today, reports News9.
11.22 am: Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned till 12 noon after Congress members cause an uproar over the crisis in Karnataka, PTI reports.
11.16 am: Congress MP BK Hariprasad gives a notice in Rajya Sabha under rule 267 for suspension of business to discuss the “constitutional crisis in Karnataka”, reports ANI.
11.01 am: Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar summons rebel MLAs to meet him at his office at 11 am on Tuesday, reports ANI. The ruling Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition had sought to disqualify the 15 MLAs, NDTV reports.
10.56 am: The Supreme Court refuses to urgently list plea of two Independent MLAs seeking a floor test in the Assembly on Monday itself, reports PTI. The court says it may consider listing the petition for hearing on Tuesday.
9.50 am: BJP MLAs leave Ramada Hotel in Bengaluru for the Vidhana Soudha, reports ANI.
9.45 am: Kumaraswamy said: “I want to make it amply clear that I am not trying to cling onto power. My only intention of seeking time for debate on trust vote is to let the entire country know how the BJP, which talks of morality, is trying to subvert the very principles of democracy as well as Constitution.”
The chief minister appealed to the rebel MLAs to attend the legislature session and explain how the BJP took them forcefully. “...let us sit together and discuss all the issues including your problems, if any, and arrive at a solution to save this democratically elected government...”
9.40 am: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party set a new benchmark for “immoral politics”. “The BJP has made a mockery of democracy by taking away several MLAs from ruling coalition forcefully,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
9.35 am: BJP Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa has claimed Monday will be last day of the coalition government. “As [senior Congress leader] Siddaramaiah, the Speaker and Kumaraswamy have said that they will seek majority Monday, I am 100% confident that things will reach a conclusion,” PTI quoted Yeddyurappa as saying on Sunday.
9.30 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has directed N Mahesh, the party’s only MLA in Karnataka, to vote in favour of HD Kumaraswamy’s government. The BSP tweeted it on Sunday evening, hours after Mahesh said he had been instructed by Mayawati to not attend the floor test.
9.20 am: Independent MLA H Nagesh and R Shankar from the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party moved the Supreme Court on Sunday, urging it to direct Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to complete floor test in the Assembly before 5 pm on Monday. The legislators claimed that a minority government was being allowed to continue in office.
Read more here:
Two Karnataka MLAs move SC, urge it to direct Speaker to complete floor test before 5 pm on Monday