Delay Karnataka trust vote, says Siddaramaiah, seeks 'whip clarification'

Siddaramaiah wants clarity from the Supreme Court about his “rights as CLP leader”

Siddaramaiah file pti (File) CLP leader and Coordination Committee chief Siddaramaiah (centre) | PTI

In a surprise development hours after the debate on the confidence motion in the Karnataka Assembly started on Thursday, Congress leader Siddaramaiah tweeted that the trust vote be postponed.

Siddaramaiah is the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). Taking to Twitter, Siddaramaiah sought the postponement of the trust vote on the grounds that he needed clarity from the Supreme Court about his “rights as CLP leader”.

Siddaramaiah tweeted, “SC order has discussed about my rights as CLP leader to issue whip but I was not a respondent to present my concerns. As the outcome of anti-defection law has its implications on no-confidence motion, I would like to request to postpone the motion till we get clarification frm SC.”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that 15 MLAs from the JD(S) and Congress, who had resigned from the Assembly, cannot be compelled to attend any legislature proceedings.

During the debate on the confidence motion, Siddaramaiah had claimed the Supreme Court ruling “infringed upon his right to issue a whip”. “It (court order) infringes on my right to give a whip under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law),” Siddaramaiah said in the Assembly.

The 'protection' given to the rebel MLAs would shield them from action for not obeying a whip issued by their respective parties to be present in the House and vote as directed. At the beginning of the confidence motion, the Congress-JD(S) camp had 102 MLAs, including the speaker, and the opposition BJP camp had 107 MLAs. The H.D. Kumaraswamy government would collapse unless at least six of the rebel MLAs attend the confidence vote and vote in its favour.