Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday said he would seek a trust vote and asked Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to fix the time for it. The JDS leader said he was ready for everything and that he was not here to cling to power. A total of 16 MLAs including 13 from the Congress, have resigned even as two independents, who were made Ministers recently, have withdrawn support to the 13-month old Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
Kumaraswamy made the plea seeking the trust vote in the Assembly, which met amid a flurry of political developments that have pushed his already wobbly government on the brink of collapse.
Earlier in the day, Supreme Court ordered status quo on resignations by the rebel MLAs. The matter will be heard on Tuesday next. During the hearing that commenced today, the Speaker, the rebels and the Chief Minister presented their sides. Appearing on behalf of the rebel MLAs, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi urged the top court to issue contempt notice to Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar.
“Speaker is riding on two horses. He says Supreme Court is nobody to give me direction,” Rohatgi said during the hearing. He also said that “he has to study the resignations”. “The issue is that matter of resignations has nothing to do with Speaker's powers inside the house,” he added. “Speaker has not decided yet on the resignations if MLAs,” he further said.
After Rohtagi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for Karnataka Speaker and said that, “the Speaker will decide the disqualification first.” He also added that The Speaker is duty-bound to decide on the disqualification first. Dr Rajeev Dhavan, arguing for Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, objects to the submissions of the rebel MLAs that the Speaker has acted in a mala-fide manner.
Kumaraswamy also said that out he had to be heard since the MLAs claimed his government has lost the mandate. Appearing on behalf of the Chief Minister, Rajeev Dhavan emphasised on ‘10th Schedule and grounds of disqualification.’