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July 23, 2019

Karnataka floor test: Judgement Day for CM Kumaraswamy as speaker sets 6pm deadline

Agencies

Bengaluru, Jul 23: The fate of the tottering JD(S)-Congress government will be decided by 6pm on Tuesday. Before adjourning the house at 11.42pm on Monday, assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar announced the schedule — debate on the trust motion from 10am to 4pm, the CM’s reply from 4pm to 5pm, and voting between 5pm and 6pm.

That’s likely to bring the curtains down on the 17-day political drama spanning across Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi and the Supreme Court.

The Congress and JD(S) launched a spirited campaign to postpone a vote on the motion of confidence, moved by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday, saying the Supreme Court had said in the morning it would hear on Tuesday pleas filed by Congress seeking clarification on issuing party whips and the role of the governor, and petitions filed by the two independents seeking the trust vote to be held “forthwith”.

With the debate on the trust vote continuing for the third day on Monday and looked set to barrel through Tuesday, the BJP urged the speaker to take up voting on Monday itself even if it meant sitting till or beyond midnight. After Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah said they will positively wind up the debate on Tuesday, the opposition BJP relented on its demand and agreed for voting on the motion by Tuesday evening.

The assembly that resumed after a weekend break witnessed high drama throughout the day with the house being adjourned thrice after the ruling coalition partners sticking to their stand that the debate on trust motion should continue till Tuesday. However, the speaker insisted that the voting must take place on Monday since he had given his commitment to the opposition party on Friday.

The tug of war between the treasury and the opposition benches extended closer to midnight. Several women members of Congress and JD (S) said they needed to be home for their families, while others said they were diabetic and had to have dinner on time.

Handing out nuts and toffees to MLAs, leader of opposition and state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa urged the assembly speaker to make arrangements for dinner.

Karnataka floor test: Judgement Day for CM Kumaraswamy as speaker sets 6pm deadline

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