After several weeks of political drama, the Congress-JD(S) coalition government which had come to power last year finally met its fate on 23rd July. CM Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote 105-99 in favor of the BJP. Ever since the reports of Congress and JD(S) MLAs tendering their resignations surfaced, it had become clear that the Karnataka government was not going to survive for very long. The coalition government had fallen into a political crisis after reports of 16 MLAs tendering their resignations had come up. It had become clear that once these resignations were accepted, the coalition government would lose its majority. The rebel MLAs skipped the trust vote after more than a week of persuasion by Congress-JD(S) to attend the trust vote.
The conduct of speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has also, been under the spotlight for his failure to conduct a prompt trust vote as it had clearly become evident that the JD(S)-Congress government had lost the majority support in the state assembly. He had repeatedly stalled the floor test and refused to take a call on the rebel MLAs despite Supreme Court’s order clearly giving him the prerogative on the decision. However, as BSY has assumed charge of the top post, and is expected to prove his majority on the floor of the house, the Karnataka Assembly speaker has finally taken a call on the 14 disgruntled MLAs and disqualified them after stalling on the decision. On Thursday the speaker had taken a call and disqualified three MLAs which had further given winds to the speculations over the stability of the new government, however with Speaker’s decision to disqualify other 14 MLAs on Sunday under the anti-defection law, BJPs claim at the ruling position has further solidified.
The BJP has also indicated towards introducing a no-confidence motion against the speaker if he does not vacate the position voluntarily which has traditionally been held by the ruling side. speaker taking the final decision on 14 MLA’s is also being seen as a result of mounting pressure on him over his removal. Replying to a question on the BJP seeking his disqualification, KR Ramesh Kumar said, “Let it come. Why should I be worried?”
“Once we win the confidence of the House, we will go ahead with moving no-confidence motion,” a BJP leader told News18 as he questioned how a speaker can be from the opposition party. He also added “We will move the no-confidence motion against the speaker if he himself does not resign,” A senior state BJP leader said, “Our first agenda is to win the confidence motion and get the finance bill passed on Monday. We will wait and see whether the speaker steps down on his own.” With the disqualification of these 14 MLAs the path for the BJP to prove its majority is certainly clear, however BJP’s reservation about the speaker may translate into them taking steps to capture the much critical speaker’s position.
Karnataka which had presented an interesting situation following the assembly elections in the state with the post-poll alliance of JD(S) and the Congress preventing the more popular BJP with a maximum number of seats (104) from forming the government. JD(S) with the least number of seats (37), riding on Congress’ desperation to remain in government, was successful in grabbing the Chief Minister’s post for HD Kumaraswamy despite Congress being the major contributor to the post-poll coalition with 78 seats. Nonetheless, the fall of this government is being seen as the restoration of peoples mandate from the Karnataka assembly elections which was reiterated in the outcome of 2019 general elections.
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