Confident of clearing floor test tomorrow, says HK Patil

Bengaluru: Senior Congress leader HK Patil on Sunday expressed confidence that the Congress-JD(S) coalition government will clear the floor test scheduled to be held on Monday.

“We have moved a motion of vote of confidence. We are confident that we will win the vote of confidence as we believe rebel MLAs will come back,” HK Patil said speaking to ANI.

He said that the Supreme Court will hear a plea on Monday, asking to clarify the position on ‘whip’ issued by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy against 16 rebel MLAs, who had resigned from the cabinet.

“We have moved a case to the Supreme Court to clarify our position on whip which is a right of the political party. It cannot be diluted. The top court’s direction will never come against the spirit of the constitution. This is why we are confident that the decision will come in our favour,” he said.

On July 19, the Congress had moved the Supreme Court seeking a clarification on its order allowing freedom to 15 rebel Karnataka MLAs from participation in the trial of strength on the floor of the Assembly saying it whittles down the power of a political party to issue whips to its members under the anti-defection law.

Seeking impleading of himself in the capacity of President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, its President Dinesh Gundu Rao maintained that the order of the apex court on July 17 “would be in the teeth of the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution” and the judgement of the Constitution Bench of the court in Kihoto Halashan v Zachillhu.

“It is respectfully submitted that as a result of the order dated 17.07.2019 the constitutional rights of the applicant under the Tenth Schedule are vitally affected and as such the instant application is moved,” Rao said referring to the apex court order which said the rebel MLAs “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 said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same”.

The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government slumped into a minority earlier this month following the resignations of 16 dissident MLAs from the cabinet.

The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113.