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Governor will decide fate of Karnataka government
January 28, 2006 02:19 IST
The fate of Congress-led coalition government in Karnataka now lies with Governor T N Chaturvedi, after Chief Minister Dharam Singh failed on Friday to secure a confidence vote on the floor of the assembly, as earlier directed by him. Amidst chaotic scenes in the House, the Congress wanted another opportunity for trial of strength.
Uproar marred the proceedings in the assembly, after which the House was adjourned sine die by Speaker Krishna before the chief minister could obtain a vote of trust.
Late on Friday night, Singh met the Governor and requested him to fix an early date to enable him to seek the trust vote. Singh told reporters after the meeting that the date could be either Saturday or Sunday. The Governor, Singh said, assured them he would examine the issue and take a decision on Saturday.
Later, Bharatiya Janata Party and rebel Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs, led by H D Kumaraswamy, also met Chaturvedi and sought dismissal of the Dharam Singh government, on the ground that it had failed to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
On a day of dramatic developments, trouble compounded for the Dharam Singh government when Congress failed to persuade a majority of JD(S) MLAs owing loyalty to Kumaraswamy, to back the government. Gowda resigned as JD(S) president, accepting moral responsibility for the failure.
The proceedings in the assembly ended abruptly when Singh refused to move the trust motion because of uproar, ironically caused by his partymen, who were in the well of the House, yelling against the Speaker's recognition of Kumaraswamy as JD(S) legislature party leader.
As the chief minister did not heed the Speaker's repeated pleas to move the confidence motion, Krishna adjourned the house indefinitely, telling the members that he would report the matter to the Governor. Singh himself remained defiant, ruling out his resignation, saying, "When I have not taken the vote of confidence, why should I resign."
Singh said he told the Governor that the Speaker did not give him a chance to prove his majority and he adjourned the House 'in haste'.
The Speaker told reporters later that the chief minister failed to seek the trust vote, despite adjourning the House thrice and giving him the opportunity, making repeated pleas to move the confidence motion.
"The chief minister did not fulfil his constitutional obligation," Krishna said, noting that the session was called in accordance with the decision of the Governor to help him seek a vote of confidence.
"I have no option other than reporting the matter to the Governor. I will discharge my constitutional duty," said the Speaker. Krishna earlier recognised Kumaraswamy as JDSLP leader, in place of the incumbent Deputy Chief Minister M P Prakash, inviting a storm of protests from Congress.
Asked about the fate of the government, Krishna said it would be decided by the Governor. With JD(S) rebels refusing to budge from their position to team with BJP and Gowda having failed to persuade his son to change, the legislative arthimetic was loaded in favour of the BJP-JD(S) combination.
In the 224-member assembly, BJP has 79 members and JD(S) rebels 44, including five independents, besides five of the saffron party's ally JD(U), which took their numerical strength to 128, well above the figure of 113 required to command majority.
In another dramatic twist, Gowda also resigned as JD(S) national president after his efforts to dissuade his son from embracing BJP came to nought, pleading his inability to maintain unity of the party in his home state.
Complete coverage: Karnataka - A coalition's fall