Bengaluru: Putting an end to weeks of political turmoil in Karnataka, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Friday won the confidence motion with a voice vote in the new Assembly, after opposition BJP members walked out ahead of the floor test.
"The confidence motion has been put to vote and won by a voice vote in favour of Kumaraswamy," declared newly elected Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar.
The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-Congress coalition government won the floor test as 116 members voiced their favour for the confidence motion with none against as all the 104 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators walked out before the trust vote.
The motion put to vote by the Speaker was backed by 36 legislators of the JD-S, 77 of the Congress and one each of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party (KPJP), and an Independent through voice. Speaker Kumar did not vote.
Moving the motion, the Chief Minister said he was confident that the JD-S-Congress coalition government would deliver good governance in the southern state.
"Though our party did not get the mandate of the people, I took Congress' support for the welfare of farmers and the people. We are confident of giving good governance to the state," Kumaraswamy told the House.
The Chief Minister said he was confident that the alliance government would stay in power for five years.
"Our work will begin from today (Friday) itself when we will have a meeting with all the legislators in the coalition government," he said.
Opposition BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, in a rebuttal, termed the alliance of JD-S-Congress "opportunistic" and said it was against the people's mandate.
"The alliance between JD-S and Congress is unholy and opportunistic. The parties have disrespected people's mandate even as the state has rejected them," Yeddyurappa said in an emotional speech.
Indulging in a war of words, the BJP leader attacked the Chief Minister for being "power hungry" for forging an alliance between the JD-S and the Congress.
"Congress has lost all its morality by joining hands with JD-S," he added, before the party's legislators staged a walkout.
"All our 104 MLAs walked out of the assembly after our leader Yeddyurappa addressed the House in protest against the unholy alliance of JD-S and Congress," a BJP leader told IANS.
Though the Karnataka Assembly strength is 225, including one nominated member, elections were held on May 12 in 222 constituencies only, which threw up a hung House, with the BJP emerging as the single-largest party with 104 seats.
The assembly proceedings began with Congress legislator Ramesh Kumar being elected unopposed as the Speaker after Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah proposed his name for the post, which was seconded by Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara.
Ramesh Kumar, 68, a six-time legislator has been elected the Assembly Speaker for a second time, after his first term (1994-99) when former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda was the state's Chief Minister (1994-96).
BJP's legislator S. Suresh Kumar withdrew his nomination for the post ahead of the Assembly session as the party said it wanted to uphold the tradition of electing the Speaker unopposed.
The House session came to end with the Kumaraswamy government winning the confidence motion.
Polling in two assembly segments in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Jayanagar will take place on May 28 and June 11, respectively.