Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs have staged a walkout from Karnataka Assembly in the middle of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s speech during the vote of confidence. The floor test is being overseen by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who was unanimously elected after the BJP withdrew the nomination of Suresh Kumar.
HD Kumaraswamy, who was sworn in at a grand assembly of opposition leaders on Wednesday, is in a comfortable position given the strength of the JD(S)-Congress-BSP coalition. While the Congress has 78 MLAs, Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) has 36, and the BSP has one. The alliance has also claimed support of the lone KPJP MLA and an Independent. The floor test comes almost a week after BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa ended his five-day run as CM without going through the motions of a trust vote.
Early cracks have started appearing in the coalition with Deputy CM G Parameshwara’s remark that the coalition had not discussed full tenure to the JD(S) leader. Reacting to the statement, Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy said the decision on a “5-year or 2-year tenure” for HD Kumaraswamy will be decided by the party high command.