Karnataka assembly speaker KR Ramesh on Monday asked 12 Congress legislators to meet him on Tuesday after the ruling Congress-Janata Dal(Secular) filed a petition to disqualify them.
The Karnataka government plunged into crisis after 16 lawmakers – 13 from the Congress and three from the JD(S) – resigned roughly two weeks ago. Since then, one Congress MLA has signalled he would return to the party fold.
Karnataka’s beleaguered coalition government faces trust vote in the assembly on Monday after missing two previous deadlines set by the governor last week. The floor test was originally scheduled for Thursday but didn’t happen despite two deadlines set by governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday.
The speaker’s summon comes after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to give an urgent hearing to the petition of two Independent legislators, who withdrew their support to the coalition government earlier this month, seeking the floor test immediately.
The top court refused to pass any direction to Karnataka speaker Ramesh Kumar to hold the floor test immediately.
MLAs H Nagesh and R Shankar, who belong to separate parties, had moved the Supreme Court late on Sunday and asked the top court to order that a floor test be held by 5pm on Monday.
The legislators alleged that by delaying the floor test, the HD Kumaraswamy government was violating the basic structure of the Constitution and urged the top court to invoke its special powers under Article 32 to remedy the political situation in the state which is “being violated with impunity”.
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About 16 MLAs belonging to the ruling coalition have tendered their resignations.
“It is submitted that the trust vote is not being conducted despite the Govt being in a minority. It is submitted that a minority government, which does not have the confidence of the majority is being allowed to continue in office,” they said in their petition.
They alleged that taking advantage of this “logjam”, the Kumaraswamy government is “taking several executive decisions like transferring the Police Officers, IAS officers, other Officials etc.”
The petition further stated that “the Governor has also mentioned in his letter that he has received information relating to horse-trading.” The lawmakers implored the court to “intervene to uphold the rule of law and constitutional democracy”.