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Karnataka toppling game
CM told to prove majority on Jan 27
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 19
Karnataka Governor T.N. Chaturvedi today asked Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh to prove his majority on the floor of the House on January 27.

Calling the period reasonable, the Governor warded off criticism of the decision by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by stating that there were precedents of two weeks, one month and two months being given for the same purpose.

Mr Chaturvedi said January 27 was also the earliest date available as the BJP had asked that no business be taken up on January 20, the Congress had a session in Hyderabad in between and January 26 was a national holiday.

The Governor indicated that he would go by the book while adjudicating in the case.

“I want to assure the people of Karnataka and political parties that all decisions will be taken keeping in mind the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, the Governor said he had taken note of the letter submitted by Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy on behalf of the JD(S), withdrawing support to the government, and the subsequent letter of the BJP.

He said 39 JD(S) legislators and six Independents had signed the letter submitted by Mr Kumaraswamy.

He added that senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu met him in the morning and told him not to address a joint session of the Assembly as it had been prepared by a government which had been reduced to a minority.

Mr Chaturvedi said he went ahead with the address as he felt that he was constitutionally bound to do so.

The BJP staged a dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan, demanding the immediate dismissal of the government.

Mr Naidu stated that the government should be asked to prove its majority within 24 hours to prevent foul play.

He said there was no logic in adjourning the House till January 27 when a forum was immediately available to the Congress-led government to prove its majority.

Both the BJP and the Kumaraswamy group boycotted the Governor’s address in the morning.

The Chief Minister, while speaking to mediapersons after the address by the Governor, said the BJP was in the opposition in the state and a boycott did not suit its stature.

He said the constitutional validity of Mr Kumaraswamy’s letter to the Governor, staking claim to form government, was made clear by JD(S) President H.D. Deve Gowda.

Mr Dharam Singh said he would prove his majority and there was no question of him quitting his post.

The Kumaraswamy faction had started making moves toward government formation, with JD(S) state chief N. Thipanna handing over a letter to the Speaker, seeking recognition of the group in the House.

The letter mentioned the outcome of the JD(S) legislature meeting yesterday, which removed Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash and elected Mr Kumaraswamy as the leader of the group in the Assembly.

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