Karnataka: Yediyurappa wins trust vote easily

The three-day old Bharatiya Janata Party government in Karnataka headed by B S Yediyurappa proved its majority, sailing through the confidence motion smoothly in the truncated Assembly, ending a month long political turbulence in the state.

Yediyurappa won the confidence motion in less than an hour after the House met. With BJP comfortably placed in the numbers game after the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs, including three earlier, that reduced the effective strength of the House, the opposition Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) did not press for division.

After brief speeches by Yediyurappa while moving the one-line motion expressing confidence in the Ministry headed by him, and by JDS and Congress leaders, the Speaker took up the trust vote and declared it has been carried by voice vote amid thumping of desks by the treasury benches.

On Sunday, the Speaker had disqualified 11 Congress MLAs and three JDS lawmakers till the end of the current term of the House in 2023, bringing down the majority mark to 105, equivalent to the current strength of 105 of the BJP, which also enjoyed the support of an Independent. The Congress has 66 members, JDS 34, the Speaker one (who has a casting vote in case of a tie) and one expelled BSP member who was thrown out of the party for violating its directive to support the HD Kumaraswamy government during the trust vote on July 23.

Yediyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister for a fourth time on Friday in a sudden twist to the protracted high voltage political drama in the state.

As was also expected on Monday, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar announced his resignation after a 14-month long tenure, amid reports that the BJP was mulling moving a no confidence motion against him. “I have decided to relieve myself from this office,” Kumar said and handed over his resignation letter to Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy. He said that as Speaker, he worked according to his “conscience” and the Constitution. “I upheld the dignity of office to the best of my ability,” he added.

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