Bengaluru (Karnataka): Janata Dal Secular-Congress coalition government, led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, will face its trust vote in the state Assembly on Thursday. The discussion on the vote of confidence will start at around 11 am in the Assembly.
Kumaraswamy on Wednesday issued whip to all 37 MLAs of JD(S) including three rebel legislators Narayana Gowda, Gopalaiah and H Vishwanath to be present in the Assembly at the time of trust vote. Kumaraswamy has warned that if MLAs do not attend the House and vote against the party whip even after attending the session on the day of trust voting, action will be initiated under the rule of Anti-Defection Law and that MLA will be disqualified from his post.
Meanwhile, senior Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy, who was amongst the dissident legislators, on Wednesday confirmed that he will remain in the party and vote in favour of Karnataka coalition government in the state Assembly. Reddy, who along with nine Congress-JD(S) MLAs resigned on July 6, had said that he tendered his resignation due to party's internal matters. Kumaraswamy had on sought permission from Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to face a floor test during the ongoing session of the Assembly.
A bench of Supreme Court comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose had observed that 15 rebel MLAs cannot be forced to take part in the proceedings of the House. It, however, added that Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar cannot be forced to take a decision within a time frame on the resignations of the rebel MLAs.
Mukul Rohatgi, the lawyer of rebel MLAs, said: "In view of the trust vote on Thursday, the Supreme Court has said two important things -- 15 MLAs will not be compelled to attend the House tomorrow. All 15 MLAs are given the liberty that may or may not go to the House tomorrow." The plea was filed by Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, S T Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar and Mahesh Kumathalli from the Congress and K Gopalaiah, H D Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda from the JDS.
Five other rebel MLAs -- K Sudhakar, Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj, Muniratna and Anand Singh -- had approached the court on July 13 contending they had resigned "voluntarily" and that their resignation must be accepted by the Speaker. The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government had slumped into crisis after these MLAs resigned from the membership of the Assembly earlier this month. The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113.