Karnataka crisis: BJP lawmakers dine, sleep inside Vidhana Soudha to protest bias
Bengaluru, July 19: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders staged a night-long protest on Thursday demanding the Congress- JD(S) alliance government to step down from the office, as it has not enjoying the majority.
State BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa declared his party members would stay put in the House itself overnight and even till the time the trust vote was decided. The announcement came soon after Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar adjourned the assembly in the midst of a heated confidence motion debate.
The BJP MLA's were seen having discussions, dinner together and sleeping on the green floor and the well of the house.
"This government has lost its majority. They tried to drag their feet on the issue and provoke us, but we acted with patience. We will continue to press for a trust vote on the motion. We will stage a night-long dharna in the House," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
"The Chief Minister is reluctant to take up the motion because he has only 98 legislators while we have 105," he said.
As the day's developments had its moment of high drama and twists and turns both inside and outside the House, Kumaraswamy moved the motion of confidence in his wobbly 14-month old government that has been wracked by rebellion by a section of its MLAs threatening its survival for nearly two weeks.
The drama unfolded right from the word go as Kumaraswamy hit by the en masse resignation of 16 ruling coalition MLAs moved a one-line motion, saying the House expressed confidence in his ministry.
The House that barely focussed on the debate on the motion witnessed three adjournments, acrimony and repeated disruptions by belligerent slogan shouting Congress members before the proceedings were wound up for the day.
As many as 16 MLAs 13 from Congress and three from JDS had resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the government, putting it on the edge.
The ruling combine's strength is 117 Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.
If the resignations of 15 MLAs (12 from Congress, 3 from JDS) are accepted, the ruling coalition's tally will plummet to 101, (excluding the Speaker) reducing the government to a minority.
This is the third motion on trust vote after the 2018 assembly polls yielded a fractured mandate with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats but failing to mobilise numbers.
Yeddyurappa had resigned as CM after being in office for three days before facing the trust vote in May last year. Kumaraswamy who succeeded him had won the trust vote after forming the coalition government.