Karnataka political crisis: Live updates

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 11, 2010 11:15 hrs

16:30 pm: Manish Tiwari, the Congress Party National Spokesperson, has held a press conference in New Delhi on the issue.

He defended the actions of the Governor Bharadwaj, stating that the Governor was the Constitutional head of the state and had acted according to the rule book.

Tiwari also stated that the actions of the BJP have "exposed" the party today and that the Speaker's action were partisan and biased.

The Congress party has also termed the vote held in the assembly today as a "murder of democracy"

16:15 pm: User Suresh commented the following -

It is amusing to watch the elected members who are supposed to serve the public and govern the affairs of the state, resort to the cheapest of the means available to remain in power, topple the government, personal gains and abuse one another to prove a point by which they can gain political mileage. Shame that we have such individuals at the helm of affairs doing nothing for people and their development. We have to blame ourselves for electing such people in the government and in the opposition.

How many of you agree with the statement? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

16:00 pm:
As the state awaits the verdict of the High Court, the BJP continued their allegations against the Governor. The BJP has accused the Governor of acting like "...the leader of the opposition..." and have demanded his immediate recall by the Centre.

15:50 pm:
The confrontation between the ruling BJP Party and the Governor of Karnataka was escalated further after reports arrived that Governor HR Bharadwaj had sent a report to the Centre where he recommended President's rule in Karnataka.

The Governor also termed the vote a 'farce' and alleged that several outsiders were present for the vote. he also termed the disqualification act by the Speaker as "unconstitutional".

The Governor has decided to await the verdict of the High Court before going ahead with any course of action against the BJP.

15:00 pm: The Rebel MLAs, who were the instigators of the entire event, have now turned to the High Court. They have filed a petition against the vote terming it undemocratic and their disqualification as an unconstitutional act.

The petition will be heard by the Chief Justice at 3 pm today. Read More

2:00 pm: The Congress Party, which had chosen to remain in the sidelines upto now has entered into the fray with all guns blazing. "It is clearly, completely undemocratic and a fraud on the Constitution. The role of the Speaker has been an assault on democracy," party spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said. Read More

The Congress also said that the actions had bought "disrepute" to politics of the state.

It is heartening to see at least someone acknowledging the long-term effective the day will have on Karnataka and its politics.

1:30 pm: The Speaker of the House K G Bopaiah defended his disqualification actions today by stating that the act was completely constitutional. When asked about the vote itself he stated that no one in the session demanded a divisive vote and hence, as per the rules, the voice vote itself was considered. Read More

12:50 pm:
Obviously delighted with the victory of the BJP party and casting all steps taken to achieve the victory aside, Party President Nitin Gadkari declared that the entire move was nothing more than a failed attempt to topple a democratically elected government by force. Read More

1:30 pm:
Meanwhile Yeddyurappa now has every reason to smile and perhaps finally take to task the dissenting MLAs who defection lead to the chaos. Yeddyurappa stated that he would order an inquiry to "expose" the use of money to try and overthrow his government.

Of course this brings out in the open a point that had been in the minds of most - just how much money or political gains were the dessenting MLAs promised or hoped to achieve through these actions? Hopefully it would all come the forefront soon.

12:00 pm:
Miffed that his biggest chance to overthrow the BJP government had failed, JD (S) leader Kumaraswamy declared that the entire vote was "not conducted properly". He demanded the immediate dismissal of the Yeddyurappa government. Read More

10:30 am:
The BJP has passed through it's second test of fire and won its second vote of confidence through a voice vote. However this victory could be considered 'tainted' since it was won by solely by the intervention of the Speaker of the House, who disqualified dissenting MLAs thus ensuring a BJP majority.

While the Government appears to have been saved, the entire episode has left a bad taste in the mouth.

The matter is far from settled. While the opposition calls for Yeddyurappa's resignation, the Centre said it will look into the constitutional propriety of the vote.

Whatever the end result, the image of Karnataka MLAs stooping to any levels for personal political gains and the twisting of House procedures and laws to win a trust vote might have tarnished the reputation of the state to a high degree.

10:15 am: Reports indicate that the BJP has won the Trust Vote through a voice vote already. This would mean that effectively the speaker has saved the day for the BJP.

10:05 am:
The rebel MLAs were removed under the anti-defection laws in the Tenth Schedule of the Indian constitution. Now sources indicate that the Centre is concerned with the Constitution has been abused for political gains.

While it is obvious to all that indeed such has been the case, it will be seen if the Centre or the Governor of the State make stronger objections.

9:50 am:
While the MLAs continue with their ruckus in the Assembly, what they don't seem to realize is that the rest of the nation is watching their every move. It is anyone's guess what is going through the minds of the public on witnessing this debasement of the democratic system and it's values.

9: 45 am: 
Declaring the disqualification move as unconstitutional the rebel MLAs have stormed the Vidhana Soudha. Notices were pasted at all entrances to the Assembly declaring the MLAs disqualified and forbidding their entry.

The images from the scene frankly makes one wonder about the depth to which a matter can sink to. Footage shows MLAs physically assaulting the marshals at the gates, breaking window panes and generally creating chaos.

9:30 am:
Interestingly, The Governor has said yesterday in his letter to the Speaker that any decision that emerged in the House from a vitiated proceedings will not be acceptable to him.

So even if this ploy by the BJP ensures a victory in the Trust Vote they might still face uncertainty in the days to come with a pitched battle with the Governor of the state.

Here is a break down of the numbers as they stand currently -

BJP: 106
Congress: 101
JD(S): 28

9:00 am:
While we await further developments - especially the reaction of the Karnataka Governor - on the Speaker's early morning disqualification of the dissenting MLAs, you can catch up on the major stories up to this point:

Karnataka Govt to prove majority today

Karnataka Assembly Speaker disqualifies 16 rebel MLAs

BJP demands recall of Karnataka Governor

Karnataka crisis: Speaker, BJP objects to Governor's 'interference'

It is the second trust vote for Yeddyurappa

7:30 am:
Reports are coming in that the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, K. G. Bopaiah has disqualified 16 dissenting MLAs. The 11 BJP MLAs and 5 Independants (who became associate members of the BJP after extending unconditional support to the party in May, 2008) were dsiqualified under anti-defection laws in the party.

The move, if it stands, reduces the strength of the 224-member Legislative Assembly to 208. In a 208-member House the BJP need just 105 votes to pass the floor test. With the BJP holding 105 seats (excluding dissenters and the Speaker) in the Vidhana Soudha, the disqualification move seems to be the last desperate bid by the government to win the vote. Read More

The Karnataka State government, currently run by the minority Yeddyurappa-led BJP, must prove it retains the confidence of the legislative assembly by 5pm today. 

The crisis came to a head on October 6 when dissenting MLAs submitted letters stating that they were withdrawing their support for the BJP. Since the government was being run on the merest fraction of a majority, the letters de facto meant that the government had lost it's mandate to govern.

What followed has been days of uncertainty and some of the lowest forms of the political game - from MLAs (from all parties, but especially the dissenters) being shuttled around the country like cattle (to prevent them from being effectively bribed or coerced) to a stand-off between the Governor and the Speaker of the House.

The major opposition parties of the state - the Congress and the JD(S) have given a varied response to the crisis. While the Congress has generally shown restraint on the matter stating that it was an internal matter for the BJP, the JD(S) has been making hay while the sun shines.

JD(S) leader Kumarswamy, who has been shuttling around with the dissenting MLAs and holding press conferences openly showing his support for them, says that this is not due to any political games but simply because of the "affection" he felt for the MLAs.

It all boils down the the Assembly meeting today, which begins at 10 am. By 5 pm Chief Minister Yeddyurappa must prove that he can continue to run the state with the required majority or dissolve his government.

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