The crucial Assembly proceedings that are expected to decide the fate of the 14-month old Congress-JDS coalition ministry began with Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar appealing to the government to honour its commitment the confidence motion would be completed Monday itself
As the House resumed its sitting an hour late, the Speaker made it clear, “The debate should start now. Everybody is watching us. Please don’t make me a scapegoat. Let us reach our goal,” stressing that the process should reach finality Monday
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had moved the confidence motion on Thursday to decide the fate of the Congress-JDS government wracked by rebellion by a section of its MLAs threatening its survival
The debate on the confidence motion prolonged to Friday, with the ruling coalition defying the two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala — to complete the process by 1.30 pm on Friday and later by the end of the day
The proceedings were adjourned till Monday after the Speaker extracted a commitment from the government that the process would be completed by Monday itself
“It will not bring respect to the House or to me,” the Speaker made his position clear, implying that the trust vote should not be delayed further
“We are in public life. People are watching. In the name of discussion, if an opinion is created that we are wasting time, it won’t be right on my part or anybodyelse’s,” he said
The Speaker also gave a ruling that a Legislature Party leader has the right to issue a whip.
Meanwhile, The Supreme Court has refused to urgently list a plea of two Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking holding of floor test forthwith, but said it may consider listing of the petition Tuesday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “Impossible. We have never done this before. Tomorrow we may see to it.”
The bench’s remarks came when senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the two legislators — R Shankar and H Nagesh, said he has filed a new petition in the Karnataka matter and sought its urgent listing. Rohatgi said the floor test is being delayed on one pretext or the other.
He said when the Congress-JD(S) coalition can take orders for holding of floor test earlier, then same order can be issued now. To this the bench said, “We will see tomorrow.”