Leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah on Saturday agreed to Karnataka Speaker Vishweshwara Hegde Kaageri's suggestion to vote on the no-confidence motion moved by him two days ago through voice vote.
As the House session commenced, Karnataka Assembly speaker Kaageri asserted that he would not allow the Covid-19 patients to take part in voting. "I am fully against this. I will not allow this at any cost. I need both ruling and opposition parties to support this. If we do not agree to voice vote, it will be inhumane on our part to call Covid patients to vote," he said.
At this juncture, Siddaramaiah intervened and asserted that he himself had undergone Covid treatment sometime ago, and he too is not in favour of allowing Covid patients (MLAs) to come and vote. "Therefore, I have decided to agree to the speaker's suggestion. Let us not be inhuman, let us opt for voice voting," he said.
Hearing this, several members from the ruling party told Siddaramaiah that this (moving no-confidence motion) must have been discussed when both Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yediyurappa and Siddaramaiah tested Covid positive and were admitted to the same hospital.
Countering them, Siddaramaiah asserted that he had never indulged in adjustment politics. "I always had a high regard for Yediyurappa. I am probably the first Leader of the Opposition to wish him on his birthday," he said.
In the 225 member Assembly, the ruling BJP has 116 MLAs plus the Speaker, while the Congress has 67 members, and the JD(S) has 33 MLAs, vacant 4, nominated and BSP one each and two independent MLAs.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that the ruling BJP will win the floor test as the JD(S) had clearly indicated on Friday that it may not be part of the Congress plans to move the no-confidence motion.