Karnataka governor sets 2nd deadline for Kumaraswamy to prove majority

H D Kumaraswamy

BENGALURU, JULY 19: Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday issued a second deadline to chief minister H D Kumaraswamy to complete the trust vote process in the state assembly by the "end of the day". Kumaraswamy referred to the missive as "second love letter".

The governor's second letter to Kumaraswamy came after the assembly failed to meet the first deadline set by him to complete the trust vote process by 1.30pm on Friday.

Pointing out that debates and discussions in the assembly appeared to be merely to delay the floor test, Vala referred to wild allegations about horse-trading and said it was constitutionally imperative the floor test be completed without any delay on Friday itself.

Kumaraswamy, who earlier in the day cited a Supreme Court verdict that a governor cannot act as an ombudsman of the legislature, criticised Vala for talking about horse-trading now "when it had been happening" for the last several days.

In his second missive, the governor expressed his "prima facie satisfaction" that the government has lost its majority confidence of the house.

"When the allegations of horse-trading are widely made and I am receiving many complaints, it is constitutionally imperative that the floor test be completed without any delay and today itself.

"I, therefore, require you to prove your majority and complete and conclude the floor test procedure today," Vala told Kumaraswamy in the second letter since Thursday.

The governor said he was receiving various reports about the attempts being made for horse-trading.

"This can be averted only if the exercise of conducting the floor test is conducted at the earliest and without any delay," he said.

"In view of the antecedent circumstances, which convey a very sorry state of affairs, I hereby require conclusion of the process of floor test today itself. Kindly prove your majority by the end of today," Vala said in his letter.

Vala advised the chief minister that if more members wish to speak, the House sitting can be extended.

"Such long drawn proceedings on the question of Floor Test do not reflect well upon the constitutional and democratic set-up of the House," he said.

As he was speaking on the confidence motion, Kumaraswamy said, "I have received the second love letter from the governor. He has got gnanodaya (awareness) now. Governor talks about horsetrading in the letter ... was he not aware of it till now." 

"Let us do politics ... we are also here ... we will not be scared and we will not run away. Why couldn't the governor see horsetrading when the MLAs were resigning," he said.

Referring to 15 rebel MLAs of ruling Congress and JDS resignations and their stay in a Mumbai hotel, he asked "If the governor had taken action when the MLAs resigned, will all these special aircraft (to shift the MLAs) have flown. Governor gave police protection to MLAs until they left," Kumaraswamy alleged.

"I seek your protection," the chief minister told the Speaker and left the letter (deadline) issue to him.

Kumaraswamy, who had moved the confidence motion on Thursday, said 25 to 26 members still had to speak on the confidence motion and requested the speaker to give them time. 


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