Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said if the Finance Bill is not passed by July 31, the Assembly would have to be suspended or President’s rule may have to be imposed.

As deadline to pass Finance Bill nears pressure on Yeddyurappa to prove majority
news Politics Friday, July 26, 2019 - 12:28

The Karnataka Legislative Assembly has to ideally pass the Finance Bill before July 31 in order to keep the state’s machinery running smoothly. With no government in place yet, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday said that the Assembly would have to be suspended if such a circumstance arises.

With BJP State President BS Yeddyurappa set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka at 6 pm on Friday, the pressure is on the BJP to ensure that the Finance Bill is passed before the July 31 deadline.

“The outgoing government had sought an extension of the Assembly session till July 31 and if the Finance Bill is not passed by then, the state will come to a standstill. It is the responsibility of all political parties in Karnataka to ensure that such a constitutional crisis is not created and the Finance Bill is passed. I will discharge my duty if they seek my cooperation to fulfil my obligation as per Constitutional norms. Suspension of Assembly or introduction of President's rule will be done if the bill is not passed by July 31,” Speaker Ramesh Kumar said.

The vote on accounts was passed by both Houses of Karnataka in February 2019 and will cease on July 31. If the finance bill is not passed, no money can be drawn by the public exchequer and even government employees cannot be paid their salaries.

“Once Yeddyurappa is sworn in as the Chief Minister, the obligation will be on the BJP and the opposition parties to pass the Finance Bill in the Legislative Assembly. Yeddyurappa can prove majority later but the bill has to be passed before July 31,” says constitution expert Subhash Kashyap, while maintaining that although the BJP can prove majority by passing the Finance Bill, Yeddyurappa will have to prove majority within a week of swearing-in as Governor Vajubhai Vala has given him a deadline to do so.

“Both Houses of the Assembly need not pass the bill. For now, if the Legislative Assembly passes it, it's enough. The Legislative Council may ask for clarifications and if not, it can pass the bill too,” he added.

Speaking to TNM, a BJP source said that the leaders of the Legislature Party had decided to pass the Finance Bill before July 31 itself. “First, we will appoint our own Speaker and then pass the Finance Bill, which we will do,” the BJP source said.

The political crisis erupted in Karnataka after 16 MLAs rebelled against the Congress-JD(S) coalition and 10 of them flew to a hotel in Mumbai, where they have been lodged since July 6. Independent MLA H Nagesh, KPJP MLA R Shankar and BSP MLA N Mahesh also withdrew support. The coalition lost the motion of confidence held on Tuesday as it secured only 99 votes. The BJP secured 105 votes. 

The monsoon session of the Assembly began on July 12. However, the Finance Bill was not passed as the legislators were held up in discussions on the horsetrading allegedly perpetrated by the BJP to topple the coalition government before the vote of confidence was held. 

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