Bengaluru, July 19: Karnataka’s Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition won a two-day breather as the assembly was adjourned despite Governor Vajubhai Vala asking for a trust vote today, hours after the government ignored his previous deadline of 1:30 pm. "Kindly prove your majority by the end of today," Governor Vajubhai Vala wrote in his second letter since yesterday to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. The chief minister said: "The second love letter has hurt me." But Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar called it a day after marathon speeches by coalition leaders and despite the BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa saying his lawmakers would wait for a vote even if speeches went on till midnight.
Following are the top 10 developments in this big story:
1. The coalition, which is in danger of losing power after multiple resignations, says the Governor cannot ask for a test of strength when the government has asked the Supreme Court for a clarification on an order that allowed rebel lawmakers to skip the house in defiance of a party whip.
2. In his second letter, the governor said detailed debates and discussions were held only to delay the floor test. "When the allegations of horse-trading are widely made and I am receiving many such complaints, it is constitutionally imperative that the floor test be completed without any delay and today itself," he wrote.
3. On a complaint from the BJP, the governor had yesterday written to the Chief Minister: "You have lost confidence of the house... This cannot go on in a democratic set up governed by the constitution of India...Under these circumstances, I require you to prove your majority on the floor of the house on or before 1.30 pm tomorrow." The BJP has alleged that the coalition is buying time after losing the support of 18 lawmakers over the past two weeks.
4. Mr Kumaraswamy, in a long speech, accused the opposition BJP of offering "Rs. 40-50 crore" to lawmakers to switch sides. In his second statement in two days, he warned the BJP of Judgement Day. "...the only consolation is that there is coming a day when all will give an account of their lives to God," he said.
5. As Mr Yeddyurappa insisted on an immediate trust vote, Mr Kumaraswamy said: "After 14 months (in power), we have come to the final stage. Let’s have a discussion. You can still form government. Nothing urgent. You can do it on Monday or Tuesday also. I am not going to misuse power."
6. The coalition also alleged that the governor was under pressure to recommend president’s rule. Top central government sources rubbished the allegation, saying there was "no question" of central rule in Karnataka. "How long can they avoid a trust vote? One week to two weeks? We are watching the situation," said the sources.
7. In protest against the Speaker’s decision to end proceedings without a trust vote yesterday, BJP lawmakers had spent the night in the assembly, eating dinner and sleeping on the floor of the house.
8. The Supreme Court has left it to the speaker to decide on the resignations of the rebel lawmakers. At the same time, the court said on Wednesday that the rebels cannot be forced to attend the assembly, prompting the coalition to seek a clarification on whether or not they can be disqualified for defying a whip.
9. Sixteen legislators - 13 from the Congress and three from JDS - have resigned in the last two weeks, and two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition government. One Congress rebel, Ramalinga Reddy, appears to have returned.
10. The ruling coalition had 118 members in the 224-member assembly. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the government will be left with 101 members. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators, which is two more than the majority mark of 105.