A defiant Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy yesterday said he was ready to seek trust vote to prove that his JD-S-Congress coalition government had majority in the Assembly. “As I am ready to seek trust vote to prove my government has majority, I request you to fix date and time to move it in the House,” Kumaraswamy told Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, as the 10-day monsoon session of the legislature began here.
Catching an upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by surprise, Kumaraswamy said he was also ready to face a trial of strength in the Assembly if the BJP moved a no-confidence motion.
“I leave it to you to decide if I should seek trust-vote or face a no-confidence motion on the floor of this House when you fix the date and time,” the chief minister told the Speaker in Kannada.
“I can continue as chief minister after the floor test in view of the prevailing political situation caused by the spate of resignations by some of our legislators,” added Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy’s sudden act of bravado came soon after the Supreme Court in New Delhi gave the Speaker time till Tuesday (July 16) to decide on the resignations of the 10 rebel Congress and JD-S legislators.
The 10 rebels, including seven of the Congress and three of the JD-S, had petitioned the apex court on July 10 that the Speaker was deliberately delaying acceptance of their resignations they submitted to his office on July 6.
The Speaker, however, said that of the 13 resignations received by his office eight were not in the prescribed format and he wanted them re-submitted by July 11. The rebel MLAs re-submitted their resignations to him on Thursday here.
Resignations of the remaining five MLAs were in order and so the Speaker asked three of them to meet him yesterday and agreed to hear two other MLAs on July 15 to ensure that they had resigned from their Assembly seats voluntarily and genuinely.
Six more Congress lawmakers who resigned, did not go to the top court against the Speaker.
Resort politics is back in Karnataka as the ruling Congress-JD(S) and the opposition BJP attempt to guard against their legislators being poached ahead of a possible vote of confidence in the state Assembly.
The Congress, whose 13 of 79 MLAs have already submitted their resignations from the Assembly, has moved about 50 MLAs to the Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts on the outskirts of the city.
While senior leaders like Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and the ministers are staying at their official bungalows in the city, other legislators whose assembly segments are outside Bengaluru and across the state have been shifted to the resort though many of them have rooms in the legislature home behind the Vidhan Soudha in the city centre.