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|January 27, 1998||
J H Patel breathes easy again, wins trust vote
The 19-month-old J H Patel government in Karnataka, rocked by the resignation of three ministers last week, won a vote of confidence in the state assembly on Tuesday amid walkouts by the Opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party members.
While 135 members present in the House voted in favour of the motion, moved in the morning by Patel, there was none against it.
The verdict came after Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M C Nanaiah pressed for a division on the motion when it was carried by voice vote.
Former ministers R V Deshpande, Ramesh Jigajinagi and Ajaykumar Sarnaik, who had quit the ministry to join the apolitical Rashtriya Navanirmana Vedike of former chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde, voted in favour of the motion. Three Janata Dal legislators, who had also joined the Vedike, supported the motion.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha member K S Puttannaiah remained neutral.
The Janata Dal had a strength of 111 members after the death of mines and geology minister S D Jayaram this morning. A majority of the Independents, besides lone members of the All India Anna DMK (Thirunavukarasu), Bharatiya Republican Party, CPM, Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha and three members of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samithi voted in favour of the motion.
Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress) led his party members out of the House, accusing the government of having misused the legislature forum for political gains and arresting the exodus from the party. Speaker Rameshkumar expunged some of Kharge's remarks, saying that they were not in good taste.
Yediyurappa alleged that the ruling party had used the legislature for its election campaign and most of its members would leave the party within the next few days.
Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who dwelt at length on the achievements of the Patel government, said the confidence vote was moved not out of fear but to prove the governments' stability.
Earlier, moving the motion amid protests from the BJP and the Congress, Patel defended the decision and said the legislature was the right forum to prove the stability of his government.
Having a dig at the the Opposition for demanding the dissolution of the assembly, he said a childish act had forced a mid-term election on the country. The Opposition should topple the government in the House if it had the guts, he dared.
BJP leader B S Yediyurappa demanded that the House be dissolved as it was "living on oxygen". The ruling party members frequently interrupted Yediyurappa, who claimed it would be the last session for the Janata Dal.
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