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BJP Afraid as it Has Black Sheep, Says Siddaramaiah, Confident Of JDS-Congress Winning Trust Vote

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said he is confident that the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka will win the vote of confidence in the state Assembly.


Updated:July 13, 2019, 9:36 AM IST
BJP Afraid as it Has Black Sheep, Says Siddaramaiah, Confident Of JDS-Congress Winning Trust Vote
File photo of former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. (PTI)

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said he is confident that the JD(S)-Congress coalition government will win the vote of confidence in the state Assembly and claimed that BJP is scared of the floor test because of the "black sheep" in the party.

"We are confident. That is why we are moving a vote of confidence motion. The BJP is afraid because they know there are black sheep in their party," Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The floor test was requested by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday after 16 of the coalition government's MLAs and two independents resigned.

As his government teetered on the brink, Kumaraswamy announced he would seek a trust vote and sought time from the Speaker to prove his majority on the floor of the House.

After his statement, resort politics came to the fore again as all three key players — the Congress, JDS and and opposition BJP — herded their MLAs in luxury stays to keep their flock intact.

While the JDS chose the serene surroundings of Nandi Hill on the outskirts of Bengaluru, its partner Congress opted for a hotel in the state capital, sources in the parties said.

The BJP MLAs, meanwhile, are staying in a resort near Yelahanka and an ultra-luxury hotel.

While several rebel MLAs have been staying in a Mumbai hotel since their resignations last Saturday, the Congress and JDS are keen to avoid any further erosion in their strength.

However, in a breather for the beleaguered coalition government, the Supreme Court on Friday restrained Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar till Tuesday from deciding on both the resignation and disqualification of rebel MLAs.

In all, 16 Congress and JD(S) MLAs have submitted their resignations.

The Congress had also initiated disqualification proceedings against its rebel MLAs. The ruling coalition's total strength is 116 – the Congress with 78, the JDS with 37 and the BSP with a single lawmaker, besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, who resigned on Monday, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the coalition's tally will be reduced to 100.

Citing "weighty issues that have arisen", an apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said the matter will be considered on July 16 and status quo as of Friday should be maintained.

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