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Amid crisis in K’taka, CM ready for trust vote

Bengaluru: In a surprise move amid the existential crisis faced by his government, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday announced he would seek a trust vote to end the ‘confusion’ caused by resignations of rebel MLAs while asserting he was “ready for everything”.

Making the announcement in the state assembly, Kumaraswamy said he has ‘voluntarily’ decided to seek the vote, adding only when he commanded the support in the House he can continue as the Chief Minister.

Asserting that he did not come to the Chief Minister’s position with the intention of remaining in power for ever, the JD(S) leader requested Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to fix time for moving the confidence vote.

Later, Kumaraswamy at the business advisory committee meeting proposed Wednesday for the trust vote. However, no decision was taken as the principal opposition BJP did not attend the meeting, sources said. A decision was likely to be taken on Monday, they added.

Kumaraswamy’s announcement in the assembly came as the Supreme Court, hearing a petition by ten of the 16 rebel MLAs, restrained the Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision till next Tuesday on the resignation and disqualification of the legislators.

The ten rebel MLAs Thursday submitted afresh their resignation letters in person to the Speaker as directed by the apex court

The assembly met Friday for an 11-day monsoon session in the backdrop of resignation of 16 ruling coalition MLAs that has raised questions over the government’s survival.

Kumaraswamy took the floor during obituary references time and announced his decision. “In today’s political situation in the state, due to decision of some MLAs there is a confusing situation that all the legislators are witnessing…I did not come to this position with an intention that I will remain in power for ever. I’m ready for everything,” Kumaraswamy said.

“My request to you is as we will have to run the administration by taking various decisions through this House under your guidance, in my opinion, in the backdrop of the incidences that have happened, I have decided to seek trust vote. I am requesting you to fix a time for it at the earliest,” he told the Speaker.

The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being last year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs – 13 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) – resigning their assembly membership. Besides, two independent legislators who were made ministers recently to provide stability to the government have quit the ministry and withdrawn support.

The sudden announcement by the Chief Minister during the obituary reference time came as a surprise.

According to sources, it was a voluntary decision by the Chief Minister and a very few within the coalition circle knew about it.

The opposition BJP took exception to the Chief Minister raising the matter during obituary reference. State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa later told reporters that his party would decide its strategy on the basis of Kumaraswamy’s speech on the proposed trust vote.

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