Karnataka crisis: Trust vote delayed again; Section 144 imposed across Bengaluru

WION Web Team Bengaluru Jul 23, 2019, 06.28 PM(IST)

HD Kumaraswamy. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

The ruling coalition and the opposition MLAs were locked in a heated debate in the Karnataka Assembly over the trust vote.

The ruling coalition and the opposition MLAs were on Tuesday locked in a heated debate in the Assembly over the trust vote.

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah accused the BJP government of attempting to topple the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition using bribery and "wholesale trade" of rebel MLAs. Speaking in the proceeding in the Karnataka Assembly over the motion of confidence moved by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah said, "This wholesale trade is a problem. If there is retail trade of one or two members then it's not a problem. The MLAs (rebel) who have gone have indulged in wholesale trade." "Rs 25 crore, 30 crore, 50 crore were offered, where is this money coming from?," Siddaramaiah questioned.

On Monday, the Congress-JDS and the BJP leaders continued to trade charges forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till Tuesday without trust vote taking place. Following which, the Speaker had directed the chief minister to ensure that the ruling JD(S)-Congress alliance members completed the debate on his motion by 4pm on Tuesday and his own reply by 5pm so that the floor test could be held by 6pm by division of votes.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru police imposed Section 144 across the city till Wednesday after Congress and BJP workers clashed outside an apartment on Race Course Road alleging that two Independent MLAs were lodged there.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court deferred the hearing till Wednesday on a plea filed by two Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking directions on the trust vote.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that it will hear the matter on Wednesday after Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu, representing Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, appeared optimistic and assured the court that the floor test might take place by the end of the day.

On Friday, the Assembly failed to meet two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to complete the trust vote. After which, chief minister Kumaraswamy moved the Supreme Court challenging the Governor's directive to the government saying it was in violation of well-settled law laid down by the court.

The Congress-JDS government slumped into a minority earlier this month following the resignation of several dissident MLAs. Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned.

(With inputs from agencies)