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HD Kumaraswamy wins trust vote amid a walkout by BJP

The motion expressing confidence in the Kumaraswamy government was adopted by voice vote in the presence of JD (S)-Congress coalition MLAs and other lawmakers supporting the government

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Bengaluru: The three-day-old Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka on Friday won the vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly amid a walkout by the BJP MLAs.
The motion expressing confidence in the Kumaraswamy government was adopted by voice vote in the presence of JD (S)-Congress coalition MLAs and other lawmakers supporting the government.
The BJP members staged a walkout before the trust vote was taken. The leader of the Opposition BS Yeddyurappa made a blistering attack on Kumaraswamy, describing the ruling coalition as “unholy”.

 

In his speech, Kumaraswamy said his government would carry all sections together and would take into consideration suggestions made by the Opposition.

With the numbers game tilted in favour of the coalition, 58-year old Kumaraswamy looked to be sitting pretty to win the trial of strength.

Kumaraswamy was sworn in as chief minister on Wednesday with a galaxy of leaders of opposition parties in attendance.

The Congress had 78 MLAs, Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) 36, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)1. The alliance has also claimed support of the lone KPJP MLA and an Independent. Kumaraswamy had won two seats.

This was the second-floor test in less than a week after BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa had stepped down last Saturday, two days after he assumed office as the chief minister, without going through the motions of a floor test.

The 224-member Assembly has an effective strength of 221, as an election for Jayanagar seat was countermanded following the death of the BJP candidate, and deferred in RR Nagar over allegations of electoral malpractices.

The Congress and JD(S) MLAs who have been confined to a hotel and a resort fearing poaching attempts by the BJP were brought in buses to the Vidhana Soudha, the seat of the State legislature.

After taking the oath, Kumaraswamy had voiced confidence about winning the floor test but said he had an apprehension that the BJP would try to repeat “Operation Kamala” to bring down his government.

The term “Operation Kamala” or “Operation Lotus” was coined in 2008, when Yeddyurappa took over as the chief minister. The party was short of three MLAs for a simple majority.

As part of “Operation Kamala”, named after the BJP’s election symbol lotus, some Congress and JD(S) MLAs were persuaded to join the saffron party, relinquish their membership of the Assembly, and re-contest elections. Their victory made up for the shortfall in numbers.

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