K’taka crisis: Two Independent MLAs to move SC for trust vote

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Two Independent Karnataka MLAs are going to move the Supreme Court seeking a direction for conducting a floor test forthwith in the state Assembly, their lawyer said.

The two Independent MLAs – R Shankar and H Nagesh –  said the state has plunged into a political crisis after they withdrew their support to the government and 16 lawmakers of the ruling coalition tendered their resignation.

In their petition, which is likely to be mentioned on Monday, Shankar and Nagesh have sought a direction to the H D Kumaraswamy-led government to hold the floor test on or before 5 pm on July 22, the lawyer said.

“It is submitted that the trust vote is not being conducted despite the government being in minority. It is submitted that a minority government, which does not have the confidence of the majority, is being allowed to continue in office,” the Independent legislators said in their plea.

“The petitioners have been constrained to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction from this court to conduct a floor test forthwith in the Karnataka Assembly,” according to the plea.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Sunday asked her lone lawmaker in Karnataka to support the ruling Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) government as it heads for a trust vote on Monday.

Her announcement comes hours after N Mahesh, the BSP legislator, said he had been asked to abstain by the high command.

“I had my personal work so I couldn’t go to the session. My high command has told me to abstain from voting on trust motion so I won’t attend the session on Monday and Tuesday. I’ll be in my constituency,” BSP MLA N Mahesh said.

The Independent MLAs petition came two days after Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao moved the top court accusing Governor Vajubhai Vala of interfering with the assembly’s proceedings during the debate on trust vote.

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On July 19, the Karnataka Assembly failed to meet two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to complete the trust vote, after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy challenged the directive.

The trust vote is now scheduled for Monday.

The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government slumped into a minority earlier this month following the resignations of 16 dissident MLAs from the cabinet.

The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113.

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