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Posted at: Jul 24, 2019, 6:44 AM; last updated: Jul 24, 2019, 11:11 AM (IST)

Kumaraswamy loses trust vote; Karnataka govt falls

Kumaraswamy loses trust vote; Karnataka govt falls
CM HD Kumaraswamy lost trust vote as 99 MLAs voted in favour of the motion and 105 against it . PTI file photo

Bengaluru, July 23

The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka collapsed on Monday after the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was defeated in the assembly, ending his 14-month long turbulent tenure.

Capping a three-week long high-voltage intense power struggle triggered by a raft of resignations by rebel lawmakers, that pushed the government to the brink of collapse, the motion was defeated with 99 members voting for the motion and 105 against it.

"The motion moved by the Chief Minister has fallen through," Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar announced.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy watched the proceedings sitting in a pensive mood after a spirited reply to the debate.

With rebellion exploding in its face, the coalition government was hanging by a thread for the last three weeks, with the Supreme Court verdict that rebel law makers ought not to be compelled to attend the session tipping the scales in favour of the BJP.

Outwitted in the numbers game and defeat staring in his face with the rebel MLAs in no mood to step back from their position not to attend the assembly session, Kumaraswamy gave indications of quitting in the initial remarks while winding up the debate on confidence motion.

"I am ready to happily sacrifice this position" he said appearing resigned to the fate of his ministry, as the assembly debated the confidence motion for four days.

Twenty one MLAs-- Congress-JDS (17), BSP (1), Independents (2) skipped the proceedings, reducing the effective strength of the House to 204.

The magic figure required was 103.

In his reply, Kumaraswamy said discussions were on why he had not resigned and was sticking to the chair.

Sounding philosophical, he said that when the 2018 assembly polls results were out, he had plans to quit politics.

"My political entry itself was all of a sudden and unexpected".

Kumaraswamy lashed out at the BJP for repeatedly trying to topple his government and told the saffron party that its government would not last long and in the event of collapse, it is better to go for elections.

"First bomb will explode in ministry formation," he said.

Asserting that his government was not shameless, he asked, "what wrong have we committed. We tried to create history.

We have worked honestly to provide people friendly government."

Siddaramaiah alleges 'wholesale' trade of MLAs

In his speech, Congress leader Siddaramaiah Tuesday accused the BJP of trying come to power through backdoor using bribery and "whosesale" trade of MLAs.

He said the 15 MLAs resigning was nothing but "wholesale trade."

Siddaramaiah alleged that "Rs 20,25 and 30 crore" were offered to lure the MLAs and asked "Where did this money come from?"   

Flashing the victory sign after the voting, BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa described the outcome as a "victory for democracy" as people were fed up with the Kumaraswamy government.

He assured the people of Karnataka that "an era of development" would start with BJP in power.

Kumaraswamy and the Congress had moved the Supreme Court accusing the Governor of interfering with the Assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was underway and sought clarification on its July 17 order causing hindrance in issuing whip to the legislators.

The court had held that the MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the Assembly proceedings.

The ruling coalition made frenetic efforts to win back the rebels with chief minister making a desperate appeal to them on Sunday to attend the session to save his ministry but they refused to budge, sealing the fate of his government.

As many as 16 MLAs -- 13 from the Congress and three from JDS-- had resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh had withdrawn their support to the coalition government, pushing it to the precipice.

One Congress member Ramalinga Reddy retracted from his decision to resign, saying he would support the government.

Before the enmasse resignations, the ruling combine's strength was 117-- Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.

This is the third motion on trust vote after the 2018 assembly polls yielded a fractured mandate with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats, but failing to mobilise numbers.

BJP added one more to its tally after the victory of an MLA in a by-election.

Yeddyurappa had resigned as CM after being in office for three days before facing the trust vote in May last year.

Kumaraswamy, who succeeded him, had won the trust vote after forming the coalition government. — PTI

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