HDK loses trust vote; BJP to stake claim in Karnataka
Bengaluru, July 23 (IANS): Beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday lost the trust vote in the Assembly by 6 votes in the floor test held after a four-day long marathon debate on the confidence motion he moved on July 18.
“Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has lost the floor test, as 99 votes were in favour of the confidence motion and 105 against it,” Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told the members of ther House after the trust vote.
Of the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, 20 legislators were absent for the floor test, reducing the House strength to 204 with 103 as the halfway mark for simple majority.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka on Wednesday after meeting Governor Vajubhai Vala, state BJP leader R. Ashoka said.
Governor Vala on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister of the 14-month-old JD(S)-Congress coalition government and asked him to continue as the caretaker CM till alternative arrangements were made.
“Kumaraswamy moved the motion for trust vote. As per the procedure, voice vote was conducted first, followed by division of voters after opposition leader B.S. Yeddyurappa of the BJP pressed for division. I will vote only if there is a tie. To save the dignity of the chair, I will not vote now,” the Speaker said in Kannada.
In the division of votes, 99 were for the motion and 105 against it.
Of the 20 legislators who were absent from the floor test, 15 were rebels of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition, two Congress members who are admitted to the hospitals in Bengaluru and Mumbai, two Independents and one BSP member.
The political crisis gripped the fledgling government in the state after 13 Congress and 3 JD-S rebels resigned between July 1 and July 10 in protest against decisive leadership and lack of development across the southern state.
Senior Congress lawmaker and former minister R. Ramalinga Reddy, however, withdrew his resignation and voted in favour of the motion on Tuesday.
Though the BJP sought Kumaraswamy’s resignation for losing majority in the Assembly after the rebels refused to withdraw their resignations and two Independents, who were ministers in his 34-member cabinet, withdrew support, a defiant outgoing CM moved the confidence motion to prove majority in the hope that the rebels will return to the coalition fold.