The weeks of uncertainty in the political situation in Karnataka is likely to continue today as the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition ignored the deadline set by the Governor to prove its majority by 1.30 pm, saying it was bound to follow only the Speaker, who adjourned the House for lunch after a debate.
Even as the deadline neared, the ruling coalition questioned the Governor's power to issue such a direction, with Mr Kumaraswamy citing a Supreme Court verdict that a Governor cannot act as ombudsman of Legislature. Mr Kumaraswamy said he would not criticise the Governor and requested the Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to decide whether the Governor can set a deadline.
Earlier today, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy continued his attack on the opposition BJP, accusing the party of offering "Rs. 40-50 crore" to lawmakers to switch sides. On a complaint from the BJP, the governor had yesterday written to the Chief Minister: "You have lost confidence of the house." The BJP has alleged delaying tactics by the coalition, which appears to be in a minority after losing the support of 18 lawmakers over the past two weeks.
The BJP has alleged the Congress-JDS government was reluctant to face the trust vote because it does not enjoy the confidence of either the people or the assembly. Following the Speaker's decision to delay the trust vote, the BJP lawmakers spent the night in the assembly.
Sixteen legislators – 13 from the Congress and three from JDS – have resigned in the last two weeks, while two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the coalition government.
The ruling coalition's strength in the 224-member assembly was 118 before the crisis unfolded. With the support of the two independents, the opposition BJP has 107 legislators. If the resignations of the 15 legislators who approached the Supreme Court are accepted, the ruling coalition's tally will plummet to 101 (if Ramalinga Reddy takes back his resignation), reducing the 13 month-old Kumaraswamy government to a minority