Bengaluru, Jul 22: The fortnight-long political turmoil in Karnataka is expected to come to an end with the trust vote on Monday, as coalition partners Congress and JD(S) grappled with the needed number and the rebels remaining firm on their decision to abstain.
There was only a smidgen of relief on Sunday as BSP chief Mayawati directed the lone MLA from her party, N Mahesh, to vote in favour of CM HD Kumaraswamy. Before she weighed in, Mahesh, who was earlier education minister in the HDK government, had said he would skip the floor test.
Smelling victory, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said he was "100% confident that things will reach a conclusion" and the 14-month-old Kumaraswamy government will be ousted. The ruling alliance, on the other hand, is looking for some respite from the Supreme Court, which is yet to decide on their plea that the court’s July 17 verdict interferes with parties’ right to issue whip to its MLAs.
Kumaraswamy and Gundurao had moved Supreme Court on Friday, accusing the governor of interfering with the assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was underway and sought clarification on the court’s July 17 order, which they said, interfered with their right to issue whips to party legislators. There is speculation that the government may still try to prolong the discussion on the confidence motion if the apex court defers hearing by a day or two. In what appears to be a counter-measure, the two independent MLAs have also moved SC, urging it to ensure that the trust vote is conducted by 5pm on Monday.
Any attempt to further stretch the vote could also invite another missive from governor Vajubhai R Vala who has already issued three ultimatums to the government.
Yeddyurappa said Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy had assured the speaker that the vote would be concluded on Monday. “I am confident that tomorrow (Monday) will be the last day of the Kumaraswamy government ” he said.
Karnataka crisis: Will drama end today? BS Yeddyurappa is ‘100% confident’