Kumaraswamy’s statement citing Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s no-confidence motion in 1999 came in the wake of BJP MLAs demanding a division of votes by today.
Bengaluru| Amidst the debate on trust vote in Karnataka Assembly, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy cited an incident from the past that rendered the BJP MPs speechless. Kumaraswamy who is heading a government which is on a brink of collapse cited an example of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Addressing the assembly, he said, “When PM Vajpayee faced a vote of confidence in 1999, the debate went on for 10 days. Why is the BJP so eager now not to debate when the opposition then was willing to?”
Kumaraswamy’s statement came in the wake of BJP MLAs demanding a division of votes by today itself. The motion was moved in the assembly on Thursday. However, the ruling Congress-JDS coalition insisted on having a debate before the vote. BJP had even staged an overnight protest against it in the Vidhan Soudha. Taking cognizance of the situation, governor of the state Vajubhai Vala had ordered the speaker to conduct trust vote by 1.30 PM today. However, the speaker said that there won’t be any trust vote before the discussion.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s floor test:
After failing a vote of confidence in 1996, came to power in 1998 but just 13 months later on April 1999 he had to face no-trust motion, which he lost by a single vote after the BJP’s coalition partner – the AIADMK — withdrew support. The BJP ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), secured 269 votes while the opposition got 270.
The debate on No-Confidence went on for 10 days.
In the last few weeks 16 MLAs — 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — have resigned, two independent MLAs S Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government.
The ruling coalition’s strength in the House is 117– Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.
If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted or if they are not present in the House, the ruling coalition’s tally will be reduced to 101.