oppn parties The Karnataka Conundrum Continues

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
The Karnataka Conundrum Continues

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

The trust vote in Karnataka did not happen today. After an inconclusive debate, the Speaker adjourned the house till 11 am tomorrow. This after a delegation of BJP leaders met the state Governor and requested him to direct the Speaker to hold the vote today. The Governor did ask the Speaker for the same but KR Ramesh Kumar ignored the advice. The BJP has decided to sit on dharna inside the well of the house tonight to register its protest.

The debate was marred by protests from Congress benches over the alleged surfacing of rebel MLA Shrimant Patil in a private hospital in Mumbai. The Congressmen also wanted the vote to be deferred unless a clearer picture emerged on the Supreme Court ruling. But the writing was on the wall for the alliance. A total of 19 MLAs did not attend the house. This brought down the house strength to 205. With just under 100 MLAs, the alliance was sure to lose if voting took place today. Hence, it has been deferred until tomorrow.

At the heart of the issue is whether the Speaker should accept the resignations of the 16 MLAs or whether he should disqualify them. Although it does not make a difference in the numbers game (for, in either case, those MLAs will not vote) but if they are disqualified, they will not be able to become ministers in case the BJP forms the next government. They will have to first seek reelection and then think of being ministers. The Congress-JD(S) alliance wants that the turncoats do not get an immediate reward for their act of deserting the alliance.

But what is happening is sickening. Democracy is being murdered. The Centre should think of amending the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (popularly referred to as the Anti-Defection Law) to clearly define resignation and disqualification and explain situations where each will apply. For, in the present case, the question of disqualification arose only after the MLAs resigned and the alliance issued a whip for them to attend the assembly, inviting disqualification if they chose to ignore the whip. The law must be amended to give preference to events as per dateline. Also, suitable amendments must also be made in the law to provide a time-frame within which the Speaker of any house has to decide on resignations and disqualification matters.