Karnataka Governor's new deadline for floor test expires; Kumaraswamy, Congress move Supreme Court

HD Kumaraswamy. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Bengaluru Jul 19, 2019, 06.20 PM (IST)

After receiving the second deadline set by Governor Vajubhai Vala, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday said the Governor's second letter has hurt him and asked Speaker KR Ramesh to handle the new directive.

 "I leave the decision on the floor test to you (the Speaker). It won't be directed by Delhi. I request you to protect me from the letter sent by the Governor," Kumaraswamy said. 

Furthermore, Kumaraswamy moved the apex court, questioning the deadlines set by the Governor one after another.

In his application, Kumaraswamy contended: "No such direction on trust vote could have been issued by Governor when confidence motion was already initiated." 

After missing the 1.30 pm deadline, Kumaraswamy received a fresh directive from the Governor to hold the floor test to prove the majority of JD(S)-Congress government by 6pm today.

An earlier letter to the Speaker by Governor to conduct the floor test by the end of Thursday was merely dismissed as a suggestion and not an order. 

Meanwhile, Congress has also moved the Supreme Court saying that its July 17 order compromises party’s right to issue whip to its MLAs.

The petition said the July 17 order was passed without even arraying the Congress Legislature Party which has 79 MLAs in the Assembly. It further said under the Tenth Schedule a political party has a constitutional right to issue a whip to its legislators.

The court had ruled that 15 MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) cannot be compelled to participate in the House proceedings.

Earlier in the day, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said that the directive of the Governor is applied to the chief minister and he cannot be forced by any time constraint.

"Unless the discussion is complete, you cannot press for the division of votes for the floor test," said the Speaker.

"Governor's order has to be followed or not, it has to be decided by the chief minister because the letter was sent to him, so he has to decide," he further added.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy moved confidence motion in the state Assembly at 11am on Thursday to prove the majority of his government amidst rebellion by a section of the lawmakers.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders claimed JD(S)-Congress coalition was delaying the trust vote fearing imminent defeat due to lack of majority numbers.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

Kumaraswamy said the Governor's second letter has hurt him and asked Speaker KR Ramesh to handle the new directive.