Kumaraswamy loses trust vote; Karnataka govt falls

Source: Agencies | Published on 23rd July 2019, 7:52 PM | State News | Don't Miss |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost trust vote on Tuesday, ending days of political uncertainty that has been rocking the state.

He lost the vote 105 to 99. All coalition legislators voted for the state government and all Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs voted against. There was no cross voting. 

In an emotional speech just before his government faces the vote after resignations of 15 rebel MLAs in the Congress and Janata Dal Secular coalition left the government struggling to hold on to power, Kumaraswamy, who took over as chief minister in May last year after a hurriedly patched up alliance with once-rivals Congress, said he would be happy to give up his position. 

"I am ready to give up this position with happiness," he said. "I am not going to run away after speech. We will go for vote and let the votes be counted," he told the House. 

Kumarswamy also addressed charges of deliberately delaying the trust saying that he "had no intention to drag" it. 

"I apologise to Speaker and people of the state," he said.

"My government is not 'shameless'," Kumaraswamy told the House, saying he was hurt by the allegations against him.

He said in the speech that he had sincerely worked for the state, but that the past year had been "difficult", especially given that there was a perception that the state government was shaky.     

"When the assembly polls (2018) results were out, I had plans to quit politics," he told the House. "My political entry itself was all of a sudden and unexpected."

He also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party should not state claim to form government unless they could prove that they had majority in the House.  

The session also saw Speaker KR Ramesh's passionate defence of his actions after the rebels resigned. The Speaker, who has been accused of being partisan and deliberately holding off his decision over the rebels' resignation, said he had his resignation in his pocket and asked for the piece of paper to be showed to BS Yeddyuarappa. 

"I had kept my resignation ready in my pocket and came to the Assembly not knowing what will happen today," he said. 

Meanwhile, Section 144 was issued in several parts of the city on Monday after clashes were reported between Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. Television channels reported that several Congress and BJP workers were detained. 

ANI quoted Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar as saying on Tuesday: "We are imposing Section 144 across the city today and tomorrow. All pubs, wine shops will be closed till 25th. Anyone found violating these rules will be punished".

Reports said that the clashes were over two independent legislators, and took place outside the guest house where they were staying.   

The constitutional crisis was precipitated after 16 MLAs—13 from the Congress and three from JDS—resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh withdrew their support to the coalition government, pushing the government to the precipice. 

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