oppn parties The Karnataka Conundrum Continues

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
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.