Karnataka assembly adjourned till Friday amid uproar

Yeddyurappa announced that BJP MLAs will be on an all-night dharna in the assembly

Karnataka assembly adjourned till Friday amid uproar Karnataka assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar | Bhanu Prakash Chandra

The Karnataka assembly was adjourned till Friday morning amid acrimony during the debate on the motion of confidence moved by chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to decide the fate of his 14-month-old government.

The House was adjourned by Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy as the Congress members persistently shouted slogans against the BJP as the proceedings wore on with Kumaraswamy yet to make his speech on the motion.

Before the House was adjourned, BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa declared that his party members would stay put in the House itself overnight and even till the time the trust vote was decided.

"We will stay until the trust vote is decided," Yeddyurappa declared.

He said the confidence motion was not even discussed properly for 15 minutes and other issues were brought in by the ruling coalition members to delay the trust vote.

"There has been a breach of constitutional framework," he said, adding that it was unparalleled.

"To protest against this, we will sleep here itself," Yeddyurappa said.

Earlier, the BJP has appealed to Governor Vajubhai Vala to direct the Speaker to take up the voting on the confidence motion moved by chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday itself, fearing that the coalition partners Congress and JD(S) were indulging in delaying tactics.

A BJP delegation met the governor even as the assembly was debating the confidence motion amid fears by the party that "extraneous" issues were being raised by the coalition to prolong the debate to buy more time to save the ministry.

"We have a fear that somewhere there is an attempt to save this minority government....," BJP leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters.

He said the governor has assured the delegation that he would discuss with the legal experts and take a decision within the framework of law.

The Supreme Court decision on Karnataka rebel MLAs

Earlier, in a blow to the Congress-JD(S) government, the Supreme Court had said 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs in Karnataka "ought not" to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the state Assembly and an option should be given to them as to whether they wanted to take part or stay out of it.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar will decide on the resignation of the 15 MLAs within such time-frame as considered appropriate by him.

The bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, said the speaker's discretion in deciding on the MLAs' resignations should not be fettered by the court's directions or observations and he should be left free to decide the issue.

The apex court also said the speaker's decision be placed before it. "We also make it clear that until further orders, the 15 members of the Assembly ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the proceedings or opt to remain out of the same. We order accordingly," the bench said in its three-page order.