The Karnataka Assembly on Friday failed to meet the deadline set by Governor Vajubhai Bala to complete the business of trust vote as the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition and the opposition BJP fought intensely over the Governor's directive.
The House was adjourned at 1:40 pm, ten minutes beyond the deadline set by the Governor late last night, till 3 pm by Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar who maintained that whether the Governor's order has to be followed or not, has to be decided by Chief Minister because the letter was sent to him.
"So he has to decide," he said before adjourning the House till 3 pm as both the sides clashed over the directive with BJP inisisting that the vote should be taken by division in accordance with the Governor's directive.
Senior BJP leader Madhuswamy maintained that the House should be concerned only with the Governor's directive and should not stray into other subjects.
"We cannot go beyond the Governor's directive," he said as the clock ticked towards the deadline 1:30 pm deadline.
Senior Congress leader R V Deshpande said the issue was one of a challenge to democracy in the country and contended that it was the speaker's responsibility to allot time for discussion and that cannot be fettered.
BJP member Basavaraj Bommai rejected the ruling side's contention saying that the Governor cannot give a direction.
He said the question now was over the majority enjoyed by the government, which was in doubt. In such a situation, the Governor had the authority to give a direction as he deemed fit and cited the example of a similar situation in Arunachal Pradesh and in Karnataka in 2010.
BJP leader Yeddyurappa intervened to urge the Speaker to go for a division of votes before the Governor's deadline.
Law Minister Krishna Byre Gowda contended that once the trust motion is moved in the house it becomes the house property and the government cannot give a direction over how its should be completed.
The Speaker told him that he will order a division of votes only after a proper discussion on the trust vote.
Governor's directive was to the government and not to him and it was not possible to allow a division then.
As the debate continued, Kumar adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Earlier, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy said that power and position will come and go.
Soon after today's session commenced Kumarswamy rose to address the House and addressed the house for over an hour.
"Power and position will come and go, its destiny. I have my own limitations", said Kumaraswamy.
Moving the ball in speaker's court to take a decision on Governor's directive regarding holding a trust vote by today afternoon, he said, "There have been baseless allegations against you (Speaker). You are the custodian of the constitution. Governor has set a time frame for the floor test. We have already moved the confidence motion. I request the speaker to decide on whether the Governor can direct me to hold the floor test today".
He also cited the 1999 vote of confidence sought by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee while asserting that he got 10 days to do the same, whereas in his case the BJP lawmakers are showing 'tremendous haste'.
"The BJP does not want to debate but it is important to do so. Please occupy this seat but only after discuss. There is no hurry in forming the government", he said.
Karnataka minister Krishna Byre Gowda asserted that Constitutional bodies should not breach their limits.
"Motion of trust is prerogative of the Assembly and Speaker should allow the debate as per our requests", he said.
Later during the proceedings, as the deadline for trust vote approached near, JD(S) and Congress MLAs also raised slogans against the state governor.
Meanwhile, speaker Ramesh Kumar informed the assembly about contents of a letter written by Congress MLA Shrimant Patil to Governor.
"I went to Chennai for personal work and felt chest pain. Visited hospital and on doctor's suggestion, I came to Mumbai and got admitted here. Hence couldn't attend assembly session, was not kidnapped by BJP", the letter said.
A little ago, Mumbai Police has also allowed Karnataka Police officials to meet and take the statement of Congress MLA Shrimant Patil, who is admitted at St George hospital in Mumbai.
Yesterday, soon after the Karnataka Assembly was adjourned without a trial of strength, Governor Vajubhai Vala wrote a letter to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy asking him to prove majority by 1.30 pm on Friday.
This came after a BJP delegation headed by former minister Jagdish Shettar rushed to the Raj Bhavan and met the Governor seeking completion of the business.
Taking a jibe at his critics, Ramesh Kumar began Friday's proceedings by asking those "hurling slurs" at him to look back at their life.
Making an emotional opening statement, Kumar also reiterated his "non-partisan" commitment towards the post occupied by him and said that he will take an impartial decision irrespective of attacks aimed at him.
"Those who hurl slurs at my character, look back at what your life has been. Anyone who knows me knows I don't have lakhs of money stashed up like others. I have enough strength to take a non-partisan decision despite such slurs", said Kumar.
He told both the ruling side and opposition members not to expect any favour from him. "I am not here to make it convenient for either of you", he said.
BJP MLAs camped overnight in the House in protest against the government not completing the business of trust vote yesterday.
The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government had earlier this month slumped into a minority following the resignation of the dissident MLAs. Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned.