Bengaluru: In a major jolt to the ruling coalition, Governor Vajubhai Vala asked Speaker Ramesh Kumar to complete the trust vote proceedings in the Legislative Assembly by the end of the day which reportedly led to a confrontation between the governor and the Speaker. Later, Mr Vala directed the CM to seek the trust vote by 1.30 pm on Friday.
Even after Mr Vala’s suggestion to Mr Ramesh Kumar, the House was adjourned without any proceedings on the confidence motion resulted in Opposition BJP legislators announcing a sit-in protest in the Assembly through the night.
Taking umbrage to Mr Vala’s message, leaders like former law minister H.K. Patil, KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao and revenue minister R.V. Despande argued that the Governor lacks authority to direct the Speaker how to conduct the proceedings. Their point of view, however, was countered by former BJP minister S. Suresh Kumar, who listed provisions of the Constitution.
Launching a veiled attack against Mr Vala, Mr Deshpande stated that Article 175 of the Constitution does gave have the authority to send his message to legislature, it was limited to pertaining to pending bills. "The Constitution is very clear that in no way the Governor can direct the legislature to function or try to intervene in matters like the confidence motion. So, we need not pay heed to the message,” he added. RDPR minister Krishna Byregowda, interpreted that the message infringes upon the privilege of a member of the House. “Trust motion is a crucial issue. Such issues warrant detailed debate. Without detailed debate one cannot pass the motion. On one hand our MLAs are being kidnapped on the other hand they are being coerced and lured through various means. I must agree that we (ruling parties) might be caught napping while our MLAs being kidnapped. As watchman I may have caught napping, but who gave you (BJP) the right of stealing our MLAs?,” the minister asked and demanded whether BJP leaders had met the Governor and petitioned him on the issue. This led to heated exchanges between members of ruling partners and the BJP, with former CM Jagadish Shettar and DCM K.S. Eshwarappa asserting that there was nothing wrong in meeting Governor on this issue and declared that they did meet Mr Vala and petitioned him to direct the Speaker to complete proceeding by the end of the day.
At this juncture, former law minister H. K. Patil intervened and asserted that there was nothing wrong on the part of BJP leaders meeting the Governor and petitioning him.
“Whenever they want they can meet him and petition him. Nothing wrong in this. This is fundamental right of any political party. However, the Governor acting on such petition and expressing his desire to see the proceedings to end by the end of this day is clear infringement on working of the legislature. Hence the legislature must oppose any such move,” he argued.