New Delhi: Hours ahead of the trust vote in Karnataka Assembly, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asserted that said he was ‘not trying to cling onto power’. He also attacked the BJP, saying the ruling party set a new benchmark in the country for ‘immoral politics’.

“My only intention of seeking time for debate on trust vote is to let the entire country know how the BJP, which talks of morality, is trying to subvert the very principles of democracy as well as constitution,” Kumaraswamy said in a statement.

“The BJP has made a mockery of democracy by taking away several MLAs from ruling coalition forcefully. The TV footages have clearly shown  BJP leaders and functionaries accompanying our MLAs to Mumbai in special aircrafts,” he stated.

 

Furthermore, he urged the rebel MLAs to return and hold talks to resolve differences. “Let us sit together and discuss all the issues including your problems, if any and arrive at a solution to save this democratically elected government. Let us strive together to save democracy and protect the spirit of country’s constitution from these evil forces who are willing to destroy any democratic and constitutionally established institutions for the sake of power,” he added.

On the other hand, Congress’ troubleshooter and senior leader DK Shivakumar claimed that the Janata Dal (Secular) is ready to ‘sacrifice’ to save the coalition government and wants a Congress chief minister now.

He said that the JD(S) was making the last effort to save the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the state and wants either Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara or Shivakumar himself to be chief minister.

“JD(S) national president H.D. Deve Gowda has spoken to the Congress party high command. Gowda is not opposed to any of the Congress leader becoming chief minister. He has said that Parameshwara, Siddaramaiah or Shivakumar may become chief minister,” Shivakumar told the media yesterday.

The Karnataka Assembly was on Friday adjourned till Monday without a floor test despite Governor Vajubhai Vala extending the deadline he gave on Thursday to CM Kumaraswamy for proving his majority.

“The Assembly will reconvene on Monday to conclude the debate on the confidence motion the Chief Minister moved on Thursday to prove a majority,” Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar told the legislators and adjourned the House after extending the day-long session by over two hours amid a ruckus.

The 13-month-old Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka plunged into a crisis after 16 MLAs – 13 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S) tendered their resignations. If the resignations are accepted or if they stay away, the ruling coalition’s tally will plummet to 101, (excluding the speaker). The coalition strength would fall further to 98, as two Congress MLAs are unlikely to attend due to health reasons. In contrast, the BJP has 105 of its own and a total of 107 with the support of the two independents.