BANGALORE: The first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka Monday won the confidence motion by a voice vote amid chaos in the assembly, officials said as the opposition Congress and JD-S cried foul and said it all happened in too much of a hurry.
"Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurppa proved majority on the floor of the house by voice vote, with 106 ruling legislators saying ‘yes’ after speaker K.G. Bopaiah convened the session at 10 a.m. as directed by Governor H.R. Bhardwaj," a legislative secretariat official told IANS.
However, the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) lawmakers cried foul and rushed to Raj Bhavan to demand the dismissal of the 29-month-old government by the governor.
"It all happened so hurriedly in five-10 minutes that nothing could be seen and heard properly in the house, as the speaker asked the chief minister to move the confidence motion and the BJP legislators raised hands in support of the trust vote without allowing us to speak or hold debate," Congress legislative party leader Siddaramaiah told reporters.
Added H.D. Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and JD-S leader: "We are demanding immediate dismissal of the government. The trust vote was not conducted properly. The speaker and chief minister ran away after announcing the voice vote."
The disqualification of 16 rebel legislators, 11 from the BJP and five Independents, by the speaker earlier in the day reduced the strength of the 225-member assembly to 208 and the half-way mark to prove majority in the house to 105.
One member is nominated from the Ango-Indian community.
With the disqualification of 11 rebels, the strength of the ruling party too declined to 106, including the speaker, followed by the Congress with 73 and JD-S 28; the remaining are six Independents.
Within minutes after the motion was declared won by voice vote, the speaker adjourned the house sine die and left the assembly even as the Congress and JD-S legislators gathered near his podium and protested against the way the session was being conducted.
Terming the speaker’s action unconstituonal and undemocratic, siddaramaiah said there was no provision in the legislative rules and procedures for taking voice vote in the case of confidence motion.
"The speaker’s declaration that the motion was won by 106-0 only shows that the voting process was not conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the house. We condemn the high-handed action of the speaker and will petition the governor to dismiss this government that was reduced to minority after the disqualification of the 16 rebels," Siddaramaiah asserted.
The speaker’s action comes in the wake of the dissident lawmakers withdrawing support to the government.
The 11 disqualified BJP rebels are excise minister M.P. Renukacharya, Gopalakrishna Beluru, Anand Ansnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi, B.N. Sarvabhouma, Bharamgowda Kage, Y. Sampangi, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, M. V Nagaraju, Shivan Gowda Nayak and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda.
The five Independents are Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, Venkataramanappa, P.M Narayana Swamy, D. Sudhakar and Gulihatti Shekar.
Of the 16 disqualified rebels, eight, including three from the BJP and five independents were ministers who were sacked recently for revolting against the leadership.
Bopaiah disqualified the rebels after serving show-cause notices to each of them Oct 8 and seeking their replies by Sunday 5 p.m.
The speaker took the dramatic action ignoring the governor’s advice Sunday against disqualifying the rebel lawmakers.(IANS)