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Dharam Singh seeks fresh date for trust vote
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, January 27
Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh called on Governor T N Chaturvedi tonight and sought a fresh date for seeking a vote of confidence for his coalition government, after the Assembly was today adjourned sine die by Speaker Krishna without the vote being taken up.

Dharam Singh saved his government in the House by getting into a wrangling match with Assembly Speaker Krishna. The Speaker was forced to adjourn the house sine die after Congress legislators created chaos in the Assembly while protesting against the his decision to recognise breakaway Janata Dal (Secular) faction leader H.D Kumaraswamy as legislature party leader of the JD(S).

The Chief Minister refused to pay heed to the Speaker and move the confidence motion late in the evening after resorting to delaying tactics for most of the day. The Speaker while adjourning the House sine die said he would report the matter to Governor T.N Chaturvedi who had directed the Congress-led government to seek a vote of confidence today.

The JD(S) and the BJP, who were within minutes of toppling the Dharam Singh government but for the adjournment, immediately rushed their legislators to Raj Bhawan to parade its strength and demand immediate dismissal of the government. Senior leader Venkiah Naidu told mediapersons that the Governor had told them that he would act in the matter after the deadline given to the Congress-led government to prove its majority expired at midnight today.

Chief Minister Dharam Singh also met the Governor and ‘‘complained’’ that he had been denied an opportunity to seek a confidence vote by the Speaker. He claimed that the Governor had assured him that he would look into the issue and take a decision tomorrow. The Chief Minister said the floor test could take place tomorrow or on Sunday. He refused to put in his papers saying ‘‘why should I resign when I have not taken the vote of confidence’’.

Earlier, the die was cast in favour of former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda’s son H.D Kumaraswamy when the Speaker gave a ruling recognising him as the JD(S) legislature party leader. The Speaker claimed he had taken this decision on receipt of a letter from JD(S) State unit President N. Thippanna stating that Kumaraswamy had been elected leader replacing M.P Prakash.

Former Prime Minister H.D Deve Gowda himself resigned as National President of the JD(S) once it became clear that Kumaraswamy was not going to go back to the Congress.

Owning moral responsibility for not being able to keep the party together, Gowda expressed his helplessness at the turn of events by saying, ‘‘I am weak. I cannot fight against my son’’.

Earlier, in the day Gowda held meetings with senior Congress leader A.K Antony and was also in touch with Pranab Mukherjee. The Congress threw in the works to save its government, including offering another post of Deputy Chief Minister besides the one already being held by the JD(S) and important portfolios of Home, Irrigation and Transport. However, with neither Kumaraswamy nor legislators of the breakaway faction ready to bite the bait the talks with the Congress were bound to fail.

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