Signalling another political bout, a notice by opposition Congress expressing no-confidence in the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP government in Karnataka was admitted by Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Thursday.
The Speaker after ascertaining that the notice submitted by the Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah had the backing of the requisite 23 legislators as per rules, admitted it and said he will fix a suitable time for the no-confidence motion and discussion in the next couple of days.
The ruling BJP termed the Congress' move as a "political gimmick" and said the opposition party lacks numbers.
As the House met following a short break after paying obituary references to Union Minister of State Suresh Angadi, who passed away due to COVID-19 last evening, Siddaramaiah informed the Chair about the notice he along with party colleagues submitted this morning.
"We have given a notice stating that this House and the people of the state have lost confidence in Yediyurappa- led government," Siddaramaiah said, as he claimed that the notice has the support of more than 23 legislators as per rules.
Following that all the Congress legislators stood in their place in support of the notice of no-confidence.
Speaker Kageri then said he was convinced that the notice has the support of over 23 MLAs and he will decide and fix the time for no-confidence motion and discussion either on Friday or Saturday.
Siddaramaiah, while stating that he was not questioning the discretion of the Chair, requested the Speaker to allow the no-confidence motion on priority and take it up for discussion immediately.
However, the Speaker proceeded to the next itinerary on the agenda-- tabling certain bills.
Objecting to it,Siddaramaiah said, "when this government has lost our confidence, how can they continue with all these processes relating to legislations, they have no moral right and they should go out."
Countering it, Revenue Minister R Ashoka said the government has not lost the confidence or majority just because the Congress is saying so.
"They (Congress) don't have numbers or mandate.People (MLAs) from Congress have come to our side, don't know how many more people will come to our side.
Reports say many are willing to come," he said, terming the act on moving the no-confidence motion as a "political gimmick."
Siddaramaiah retorted that many from the ruling side may cast vote in favour of the no confidence motion, if put to vote.
Ashoka responded by stating that he too was confident that legislators from Congress benches will vote in favour of the government.
As senior BJP MLA and former Speaker K G Bopaiah pointed out that the no-confidence motion cannot be taken up immediately and can be taken within three days of giving the notice, Speaker Kageri said he will fix the time for discussion in the next two days.
Earlier after the Congress legislature party meeting, Siddaramaiah claimed the government has failed on all fronts and the people of the state and the assembly has lost confidence in it as corruption was rampant, development stunted, and the financial condition of the state has deteriorated.
Alleging that Yediyurappa and members of his family were involved in corruption, he said there was also corruption in procurement of medical equipment, laptops, transfers, allocating postings for officials, release of grants among others.
He also claimed that the government was bringing in several anti-people legislations like amendments to APMC and land reforms act and also to certain labour laws among others.
The administration was anti-people and involved in corruption,Siddaramaiah alleged.
He said this government came to power one year and four months ago and they have pushed the state into debt, while development was zero.
After Yediyirappa came to power over Rs 1,01,000 crore loan has been taken,he claimed.
"So we have given notice for moving the no confidence motion...," he added.
Alleging that this government was full of corruption and no government had such a bad reputation in such short duration, KPCC chief D K Shivakumar said they were not worried about the numbers as they want to raise issues.
"There is a lot of infighting within the BJP, let us see what happens..," he said when asked whether internal differences within the BJP will help the Congress.
In the 225-member assembly, the ruling BJP has 116 members, Congress 67, JD(S) 33, BSP and nominated 1, independents 2, and Speaker (he has a casting vote).
Four seats-- Sira, Basavakalyan, RR Nagar and Maski are vacant.
While, Sira and Basavakalyan recently fell vacant following the death of sitting MLAs, RR Nagar and Maski have been vacant for some time now due to pending election petitions in the Karnataka High Court.