Bengaluru: The BJP will press Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to seek trust vote in the Assembly on Monday, State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said on Saturday.
The former Karnataka chief minister asserted that the Congress-JD(S)coalition government has lost majority and its collapse was imminent.
In a surprise move amid the existential crisis faced by Karnataka government, Kumaraswamy had on Friday announced in the State Assembly that he had voluntarily decided to seek a trust vote to end the “confusion” caused by resignations of rebel MLAs and requested the Speaker to fix a time for the same.
Yeddyurappa said on Saturday that the Chief Minister “must move the confidence motion on Monday itself. Monday morning at the business advisory committee meeting, we will advise that Chief Minister’s commitment should be fulfilled,” he said.
According to sources, at the business advisory committee meeting on Friday Kumaraswamy had proposed that the trust vote be held on Wednesday. However, no decision was taken as the principal opposition BJP did not attend the meeting.
The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs — 13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) — resigning their assembly membership.
Besides, two independent legislators, who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government, have quit the ministry and withdrawn support.
Kumaraswamy lost majority in Karnataka Assembly?
Pointing out that Kumaraswamy has clearly lost majority with the resignation of 16 MLAs and two independents withdrawing support, Yeddyurappa said it was better for him to resign and allow a new government to take over to work for the people of the State.
The Chief Minister himself has said in the Assembly that without the support of MLAs, he would not like to continue and hence would be moving a motion seeking trust vote.
“Let us wait till Monday if he is going to move confidence motion we have no objection. We will wait till Monday,” he added.
The Supreme Court, hearing a petition by ten of the 16 rebel MLAs, had on Friday restrained Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision till next on Tuesday on the resignation and disqualification of the legislators.
Yeddyurappa said, along with ten MLAs, five more MLAs- MTB Nagaraj, K Sudhakar, Munirathana, R Roshan Baig and Anand Singh– have also moved the Supreme Court regarding a delay in acceptance of their resignation by the Speaker, and it may also be taken up by the court on Tuesday.
Will Karnataka scenario change if Nagaraj changes his mind?
To a question about the Congress trying to persuade rebel Congress MLA Nagaraj to withdraw his resignation, the BJP leader said when the legislator himself has moved the apex court and when the plea has been admitted, “I don’t think he will go back.”
“Some people may have tried to put pressure. I heard that DK Shivakumar (Congress Minister) was at his residence since 5 am. I feel that as they have produced affidavit before the Supreme Court, Nagraj or Sudhakar cannot go back and they will not go back,” he added.
With Congress intensifying efforts to woo back its disgruntled MLAs on Saturday, Nagraj has hinted that he might consider withdrawing his resignation and also said he would try to persuade others.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa visited his party MLAs who are camped at a resort on the outskirts of the city.
He held discussions with the MLAs on the current political developments and had lunch with them, party sources said.
The BJP on Friday had decided to move its MLAs to the resort near here amid fears of poaching bid by the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine after Chief Minister announced he would seek a trust vote in the assembly.
Earlier, Yeddyurappa termed Kumaraswamy’s decision to seek trust vote as a “conspiracy” to halt a further exodus of coalition MLAs.
“Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s statement seeking trust vote is part of systematic conspiracy to stop more people (MLAs) from quitting due to confusion within the Congress-JD(S). So, there is no meaning for seeking a trust vote. Let him show courage and do it. We will welcome it. The atmosphere is favourable for us. It is certain that this government will collapse in few days,” he asserted.
The ruling coalition’s total strength is 116 (Congress 78, JD(S) 37 and BSP 1), besides the Speaker.
With the support of the two independents, 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.
Congress MLA Nagaraj may withdraw resignation
As the Congress intensified efforts to woo back its disgruntled MLAs in Karnataka on Saturday, one of them hinted that he might consider withdrawing his resignation and also said he would try to persuade others.
State Housing Minister and Hoskote MLA MTB Nagaraj, one of the 16 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs who resigned from the Assembly last week, dealing a blow to the coalition government, said senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister Siddaramiah, met him and asked him to withdraw his resignation. “Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao called me and requested me to withdraw the resignation and stay at the party. I have sought time to mull over it. I told them I will speak to Chikkaballapura MLA Sudhakar and persuade him to withdraw his resignation. We are planning to stay here only,” Nagaraj told reporters.
Nagaraj was flanked by Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, state Water Resource Minister DK Shivakumar and other Congress leaders.