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4-min read

No Relief in Sight for HDK as Rebel MLAs Release 'Video of Unity', 2 Decide to Move SC Ahead of Monday's Trust Motion

Ahead of the crucial proceedings of the House, both Congress and BJP held meetings to discuss their future course of action with BS Yeddyurappa calling legislative party meeting on Monday morning.


Updated:July 22, 2019, 8:20 AM IST

New Delhi: Even as the ruling Congress-JDS government in Karnataka has been rigorously trying to save the coalition, tension seems to be gripping the alliance from all corners. While two Independent MLAs are planning to approach the Supreme Court on Monday, the lone Bahujan Samaj Party legislator may stay away from the trust motion.

According to sources, MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar are likely to approach the apex court ahead of the floor test. The legislators in their petition plan to seek Supreme Court's intervention in completing the trust vote by 5pm on Monday.

Claiming that the ruling coalition may indulge in "delaying tactics" to stall proceedings of Vidhana Soudha, the MLAs, in their draft petition, have said: "It has been reliably learnt that in a desperate attempt to avoid the trust vote, the chief minister of the Karnataka may also rake up an emergent situation and use medical emergencies, including hospitalisation to avoid the trust vote."

On the other hand, lawmaker N Mahesh from Bahujan Samaj Party has said that his high command has told him to "abstain from voting on trust motion". Hence, he had decided not to attend the session on Monday and Tuesday. However, hours after his statement, BSP supremo Mayawati tweeted and said that she has directed the MLA to vote in favour of Kumaraswamy's government.

Ahead of the crucial proceedings of the House, both Congress and BJP held meetings to discuss their future course of action with BS Yeddyurappa calling legislative party meeting on Monday morning.

"We are hopeful of two things — one, the Speaker will conduct the trust vote and second, the coalition will fall. The coalition has reached such a point that no deal will be acceptable for any faction. This government will fall," BJP MLA Suresh Kumar said.

Amid reports that the government was still trying to prolong the discussion on the confidence motion to delay the floor test in a hope of some kind of relief from the Supreme Court, Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he was 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," he said in a statement, and offered to hold talks with rebels MLAs to resolve their issues.

He mounted a scathing attack on BJP, accusing it of touching a new low by its "immoral politics". "It is a matter of immense pain and disgust that the BJP has not only taken Karnataka's political scenario to a new low, but also touched a new low in the country for immoral politics. The BJP has made a mockery of democracy by taking away several MLAs from ruling coalition forcefully," he said in the statement.

"Amidst all these developments, which are a result of sole ambition to capture power through immoral and illegal ways, the BJP has been demanding I must resign immediately and has even got the Raj Bhavan to set deadlines for putting the confidence motion into vote," the chief minister said.

He made a fervent appeal to the disgruntled MLAs to return and "expose" the BJP. "I would like to appeal to such MLAs who have gone away from us to please attend the legislature session and narrate how the BJP took them away forcefully," he said.

The Karnataka coalition government had got weekend breather as the Assembly was adjourned despite Governor Vajubhai Vala asking for a trust vote. Thereafter, the Assembly was adjourned till Monday after Vala's 1.30 PM deadline and the second one to conclude the confidence motion process by Friday itself was ignored, prolonging the climax to the ceaseless power struggle that has been on for the last three weeks.

Before adjourning the house on Friday night, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar made it clear that a finality would be put to the motion of confidence moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday and the matter would not be prolonged under any circumstances, to which the government agreed.

Reiterating their stand of not returning to the coalition, rebel MLAs on Sunday released a fresh video, stating that all 13 were together and there was no question of returning to Bengaluru. One of the MLAs can be heard saying that a senior minister had said that the rebels were held in Mumbai at gunpoint. However, that was not the case.

"We are not here for money or positions. Party leaders had said nobody should make any attempt to save the coalition after Lok Sabha polls. We will reveal much more details once we are back," a rebel MLA said.

As many as 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JDS — had resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, putting the government on the edge.

One Congress member Ramalinga Reddy retracted, saying he would support the government. The ruling combine's strength is 117 — Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.

If the resignations of 15 MLAs (12 from Congress and 3 from JDS) are accepted or if they stay away, the ruling coalition's tally will plummet to 101, (excluding the Speaker) reducing the government to a minority.

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