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Karnataka CM seeks vote of confidence
February 08, 2006 11:16 IST
Last Updated: February 08, 2006 13:35 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Wednesday sought a vote of confidence for his Janata Dal (Secular)-Bharatiya Janata Party ministry in the assembly.
The Congress, meanwhile, accused him of forming an "unholy alliance" with the "reactionary" BJP. Moving a one-line motion, Kumaraswamy made brief remarks, saying legislators of his party and BJP had taken "certain decisions" leading to the formation of the new coalition government after "swift and rapid political developments".
"The Governor has asked me to prove my majority", Kumaraswamy, who staged a political coup that brought down the JD(S)-Congress government led by N Dharam Singh and led to the formation of the new government on February 3, said.
In his 10-minute speech, Kumaraswamy declared that he was committed to providing good governance, keeping in mind the welfare of SCs, STs, backward classes and women with the ultimate goal of ensuring all-round development of the state. He also appealed to senior opposition leaders to bestow the benefits of their administrative experience to him.
"I do not want to go into other matters now", he said, as he wound up his speech, steering clear of any controversies in his initial remarks. The house proceedings began with Speaker Krishna announcing recognition of former chief minister N Dharam Singh as the Leader of the Opposition.
Attacking the alliance of BJP and "a section of JD-S", Singh told Kumaraswamy that he had joined hands with "communal and reactionary forces", giving a go-by to the ideology and the principle of secularism which his father and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda professed.
"Deve Gowda is shocked and suffering", Singh said, taunting Kumaraswamy, whom he accused of making "adventurous moves" by teaming up with "communal forces" in an "unholy alliance". The alliance was neither based on ideology nor any principle, he said, reminding the chief minister that, as prime minister, his father had refused to accept the offer of support from BJP when the United Front government was on the verge of collapse after Congress withdrew support to it.
Gowda also wrote a letter to Governor T N Chaturvedi not to lend credence to the letter by JD(S) rebels withdrawing support to the JD(S)-Congress government, though "it is a different matter that he (Gowda) did not write anything to the Speaker", Singh said.
"We are in peculiar political circumstances now", he said, and recalled the backdrop in which the JD(S) and Congress joined hands after the last assembly elections threw up a fractured verdict, to "keep the communal forces out of power".
Singh also explained the circumstances under which he could not seek a vote of confidence before the January 27 deadline set by the Governor, due to uproar in the assembly, which was adjourned sine die by the Speaker.
The confidence vote sought by Kumaraswamy is in accordance with the directive of the Governor to prove his majority within eight days of assuming office.
In the 224-member house, the JD(S)-BJP combine, with the support of Janata Dal (United) and independents, is expected to win the confidence vote. BJP has 79 members, the Kumaraswamy-led JD(S) 37 and JD(U) five. With the support of independents, the coalition is comfortably placed well above the required figure of 113. The BJP has issued a whip to its members to vote in favour of the motion, while the Kumaraswamy-led JDS has asked for the "conscience vote", in an apparent move not to put some senior members aligned with Deve Gowda in an awkward spot. Participating in the debate on the motion, Congress' R V Deshpande, who was minister for cooperation in the Dharam Singh government, said the JD(S) was responsible for delay in the appointment of chairmen for state-run boards and corporations, because it feared that its MLAs would desert it if the exercise was to be carried out.
On Dharam Singh and Deshpande dubbing the BJP as "communal", Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa pointed out that the BJP had supported the Ramakrishna Hegde government in the 1980s and the V P Singh-led Government at the Centre. "Those times we were not communal; now we are being dubbed communal", he said.