The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in Karnataka, headed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, finally collapsed on Monday night after the alliance lost a vote of confidence in the Assembly, setting the stage for the BJP’s return to power in the southern state.
The confidence motion moved by Kumaraswamy was defeated with 99 members voting for the alliance and 105 against it in a House of 225, including Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and a member nominated.
“I did not run away from the House and sit in a hotel room. I was preparing for the vote. I was making attempts to see if it was possible to win the trust vote. First time MLAs were in tears about the future of the government and wanted me to save the government at any cost. I made a sincere attempt for their sake, not to loot the state, as some people have alleged,” Kumaraswamy said.
Accusing the BJP of being in a hurry, he said, “I am not going to run away after speech. Let the people of the state know why I was removed. I am not going to run away fearing numbers. Let the votes be counted. The chief minister’s seat is not permanent to anyone.”
As many as 20 MLAs — 17 from the Congress-JDS, one from the BSP, and two Independents — skipped the proceedings, reducing the effective strength of the House to 205. The magic figure for Kumaraswamy to win the trust vote was 103.
Soon after the defeat, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy drove to Raj Bhavan and handed his resignation to governor VR Vala. “I will now fight back,” he later told reporters.