Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday won a confidence motion he moved in a special Assembly session to prove his government’s majority, PTI reported. He won the floor test through a voice vote.
Yediyurappa, who took oath as chief minister on Friday, said the “administrative machinery” under the previous government had collapsed and he would prioritise bringing it back.
Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar resigned from his post following the trust vote, saying he had tried to maintain “the dignity of office to the best of my ability”. Kumar announced his resignation soon after Yediyurappa won the one-line confidence motion and the House passed the Appropriation Bill. He submitted his resignation to Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy.
A day ahead of the trust vote, the speaker had disqualified 14 MLAs – 11 from Congress and three from Janata Dal (Secular) – till the end of the current session in 2023. This brought the total number of MLAs who had been disqualified to 17. After the disqualifications, the strength of the House is 208. The BJP has 105 MLAs, just enough to have a majority.
“I ran government for 14 months,” ANI quoted former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy as saying before the trust vote. “I have no obligation to answer your [Yediyurappa’s] questions. I need to answer to my conscience. From past 14 months, everything was being recorded. There are people sitting on my side today, in an attempt to sway them, I request you to not bring them to the streets next.”
He said his party would not try to bring down the number of MLAs that the BJP has on its side and would cooperate with the government “for the sake of people”.
Ahead of the confidence motion, Congress leader Siddaramaiah claimed that the Yediyurappa-led government was “unconstitutional and immoral” and did not have the mandate of the people, PTI reported. “Where is the mandate in your favour?” he asked. “Where is the majority? Yediyurappa has become the chief minister with just 105 members. Let us see how long you will be [the chief minister]...I want you to be [chief minister] for the full term but I do not think you will be able to complete it [the term].”
Continuing his criticism of the chief minister after the floor test, Siddaramaiah said the BJP government would not last the full term as it was dependent on those who had lost their morals. “When BS Yediyurappa took the oath, halfway mark was 111 but how on earth did they show numbers to the governor?” the Congress leader tweeted. “BS Yediyurappa has taken oath for four times but he lacked numbers in all instances. He is like a ‘crony capitalist’ who manufacturers numbers in a way that is harmful for a democratic nation.”
The Congress leader thanked the Speaker, saying “his honest decisions has set an example in the country showing how a speaker should conduct himself”.
The state Congress unit also lashed out at Yediyurappa, alleging that “his expertise in horse-trading and resort politics” had made him the chief minister. “Operation Kamala may have won him the trust vote today, but he does not have the trust of the people of Karnataka,” the party added.
Yediyurappa also addressed the House before the floor test, saying that when Siddaramaiah or Kumaraswamy were chief minister the BJP did not “indulge in vindictive politics”. “Administration has failed and we’ll set it right,” the chief minister said, according to NDTV. “I assure the House that we won’t indulge in vindictive politics either. I believe in forget and forgive.” He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP Working President JP Nadda.
After the trust vote, the Assembly passed the Finance Bill (Appropriation Bill), seeking a vote on account for three months, PTI reported. Yediyurappa said that the bill needed to be passed urgently as it would have been difficult to even pay salaries of government employees had it remained stuck.
Yediyurappa’s government has replaced the 14-month-old government of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) alliance, which collapsed last week. In a trust vote earlier called by former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, 99 MLAs voted for the coalition while the Bharatiya Janata Party secured 105 votes. Kumaraswamy resigned after the floor test concluded.