Karnataka CM braces for trust vote on Friday, says confident of win

Kumaraswamy speaks to press after meeting legislators
Bengaluru: JD(S) Karnataka President H D Kumaraswamy talks to press at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru, on March 23, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) An upbeat Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday expressed confidence about winning the trust vote on Friday and proving that his JD-S-Congress coalition government has the majority in the new Assembly. “I am confident of winning the trust vote on the Assembly floor as we have the numbers in our favour,” Kumaraswamy told reporters here, a day after he took oath in front of the state Secretariat in the city centre. Congress state unit President G. Parameshwara took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister. As directed by Governor Vajubhai Vala on May 19 after inviting him to form the government, Kumaraswamy will move the confidence motion in the Assembly at 12.15 p.m. and ask the new Speaker to conduct the floor test.

With a combined strength of 117 legislators in the 225-member Assembly, including 37 of the JD-S, 78 of the Congress and two other MLAs, Kumaraswamy has six more votes than the halfway mark of 111 required for majority, excluding the Speaker. Three seats are vacant. The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in the May 12 elections, fell seven short of the halfway mark to save its 3-day government on May 19, resulting in its Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa resigning before the floor test.

“The Assembly will begin the special session for the floor test post-noon after election of the new Speaker. The opposition BJP has fielded its senior legislator S. Suresh Kumar against Congress nominee K.R. Ramesh Kumar,” an official of the state legislative secretariat told IANS here. As decided by the coalition partners, the JD-S will name one of its senior legislators to the Deputy Speaker’s post after the Speaker’s election. All the legislators of both the ruling parties continue to stay at star hotels in the city under the watch of their respective leaders till Kumaraswamy wins the trial of strength.

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“We have asked all our MLAs to stay together in the city for one more day to ensure their presence in the Assembly to avoid cross-voting or abstention during crucial voting on the confidence motion,” a Congress official told IANS here. Both the parties have issued whips to their respective lawmakers to vote in favour of the motion when put to vote. Kumaraswamy plans to expand his Ministry next week after the Congress submits the names for its quota of 21 Cabinet posts and he selects 11 of his legislators to fill the JD-S quota of Cabinet posts. “Discussions on the Cabinet expansion and who will be the Ministers will be held during the weekend as the leaders will be free after the trust vote on Friday,” a JD-S official said.



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