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Karnataka: Governor’s deadline for trust vote was for CM, no voting till debate over – Speaker



Karnataka assembly

The turmoil in Karnataka politics does not seem to be any nearer to a resolution today (Friday, July 19) as questions of powers of Governor and that of Speaker came up on the issue of the wobbly Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s trust vote motion to decide the issue.

The Governor, whose first deadline for completing trust vote by 1:30 pm today passed unheeded, remained unfazed and issued a new deadline of 6 pm today. There was little likelihood of it being respected, though.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dinesh Gundu Rao has moved the Supreme Court claiming that the apex court’s order dated July 17 (which directed that 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend Assembly) violated the party’s right under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to issue whip to the legislators.

Earlier, Speaker Ramesh Kumar contended that the Governor’s order to complete the floor test by 1.30 pm was for HD Kumaraswamy to decide since the letter was sent to the Chief Minister. Governor Vajubhai Vala had stepped in yesterday after the Speaker remained undecided on the resignations of the rebel MLAs and directed Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to prove his majority by 1.30 p.m. on the floor of the Assembly on Friday.

The confidence motion was initiated in Assembly today with a list of legislators scheduled to speak and it was clear that the Governor’s deadline ignored completely. When the Assembly took a break till 3pm, speaking to journalists Congress leader Siddaramaiah ruled out the possibility of a floor test today. “The discussion is still not complete and 20 members are yet to participate. I don’t think it will finish today and will continue on Monday,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

“Speaker is supreme on this matter,” he said.

While BJP members pressed for vote immediately, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar told them that they cannot press for division of vote till the debate is concluded. Assembly rules stipulate a motion can be put to vote only after the debate is concluded. “I will not violate the rules of the house,” says the Speaker.  

“Whether the Governor’s order has to be followed or not will be decided by the Chief Minister because the letter was sent to him. It’s left to him to obey it or not. I will conduct the house as per the rules of the house,” he said.

Earlier, he had made it clear: “Unless the discussion is over, there cannot be a vote.”

While BJP members continued to protest over the issue, the deadline of 1.30 pm given by the Governor for a vote had passed. The Congress and the JD(S) members took exception to Governor Vajubhai R. Vala’s message to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and to the House to set a time limit to complete the process on trust motion moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. They raised slogans “Go Back Governor” and called him BJP and Amit Shah’s agent. This led to a pandemonium in the House.

Speaking at the Assembly session which began at 11 am, Kumaraswamy told the Speaker that he has to decide whether the Governor can set a deadline for him (1.30 pm Friday) to prove majority. He also referred to a Supreme Court verdict that the Governor cannot act as ombudsman of Legislature.

“The Governor has set a deadline for me at 1:30 pm to prove my majority. Supreme court has left to your discretion to conduct the proceedings of the house. I have already moved the motion of confidence. I will leave it to your discretion to decide whether the governor can issue such direction,” Kumaraswamy told the Speaker. 

“There needs to be a debate about how constitutional provisions are being circumvented. Can it be completed in such short time?” he asks.

Minister Krishna Byre Gowda argues that Governor can stipulate time for the Chief Minister to seek confidence motion when he feels he has lost majority. “But this case is different. Here the Chief Minister has already moved the motion and is under debate. The motion is the property of the house. Our constitution doesn’t let anyone to become dictatorial either governor or the speaker,” he says.  He cited judgements of the Supreme Court to bolster the argument that Governor cannot intervene in this matter and set deadlines.

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BJP MLA J C Madhuswamy says the session and government were different. “It is he who has installed this government and he has the right to ask such govt to prove its majority at any moment”, he says. He said the party is not interested in any further debates citing precedents. Byre Gowda shots back saying “it’s not surprising from a party that does not believe in Constitution”. 

Senior Minister RV Deshpande says Governor had a constitutional right to seek a confidence motion, but that was before the motion was moved. Once the motion has been moved, it’s left to the speaker to decide on the proceedings. “We have to follow good precedents and values of democracy,” he said.

Senior BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai argues that the Governor has a right to interfere when the govt is already in minority. Congress objects to this and asks from where he is drawing such an inference. Leader of opposition BS Yeddyurappa demands division of vote.

Speaker KR Ramesh, on the other hand, lashed out at the legislators for accusing him of delaying the trust vote process and indulging in “character assassination”. “You may have your own apprehensions but let me make it clear… I have led fairly in public life. Character assassination is easy but those commenting on me please look at your background,” he said.

India News

With post-victory schemes, Karnataka takes DBT route like TN, Telangana, AP

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government will spend Rs 50,000 crore annually to fulfill the guarantees. He said his government is confident of implementing all five guarantees.




The Congress government in Karnataka Friday announced the implementation of two of its five programmes promised in its election manifesto. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled the Gruha Lakshmi and Yuvanidhi schemes for women and the unemployed via direct benefit transfer (DBT) schemes.

Karnataka is the fourth state to take the DBT route to implement such schemes for the benefit its people. Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have already operationalised such progammes.

After the first cabinet meeting on May 20, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government will spent Rs 50,000 crore annually to fulfill the guarantee. He said his government is confident of implementing five guarantees at any cost. The government can arrange the cost after cutting down on wasteful expenditure, he noted.

Under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, Rs 2,000 per month to women heads of all households will be transferred to their bank accounts. Under the Yuvanidhi plan, an allowance of Rs 3,000 per month for graduates aged between 18-25 years and Rs 1,500 per month for diploma holders in the same age group will be disbursed via DBT.

The three other schemes that Congress had promised in the manifesto as guarantees are: Free power of 200 units per month to all households under Gruha Jyothi scheme, 10 kg grain per person per month for below poverty line families under the Anna Bhagya scheme and free bus travel for women under the Gruha Shakti plan. Many people have welcomed the promises and praised the government’s step to fulfill promises made in the Congress manifesto.

Karnataka Rural Development, Panchayat Raj, IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge on Friday said there is no scheme that is free for all but as promised, it will be implemented with the some rules and regulations.

After the implementation of the scheme, many economists have raised their concern about the revenue generation and suggested money can be raised through three sources to bear the cost of the scheme by increasing excise, entertainment taxes, and by hiking rent for government property. Some experts fear it will be difficult for the Karnataka government to raise the revenue and meet the Rs 50,000 crore estimated yearly expenditure which can exceed projections.

In Telangana, the K Chandrasekhara Rao-led BRS government has cumulatively disbursed Rs 65,559 crore over 10 crop seasons with the money deposited into the Aadhaar-seeded accounts of 65 lakh land-owning farmers under the DBT scheme. The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has transferred Rs 210,177.89 crore to the 7.89 crore beneficiaries under 28 DBT schemes.

The DBT scheme has been criticized because it has reduced state accountability in public services after DBT disbursal.

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Karnataka News

Congress’s poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu appointed Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s chief advisor with cabinet minister rank

Amid the finalisation of the new cabinet formation in the state, the CM office has shared the news of Kanugolu’s appointment as the chief advisor.



Congress’s poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu appointed Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s chief advisor with cabinet minister rank

Top poll strategist and the man behind Congress campaigns in the recent held Karnataka elections Sunil Kanugolu has been appointed as the chief advisor to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with cabinet minister rank.

Congress after coming to the power in Karnataka after marking a landslide victory officially took charge after Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were sworn in as the CM and Deputy Chief Ministers respectively on May 20.

Amid the finalisation of the new cabinet formation in the state, the CM office has shared the news of Kanugolu’s appointment as the chief advisor.

Kanugolu, known to be a champion strategist for political parties for political parties was born in the Ballari district of Karnataka.

Congress which secured a huge mandate of 135 seats in the Karnataka assembly elections was said to be because of its campaigns that hit success reaching out to the masses.

Reports said, Kanugolu’s micro-management strategies was what Congress relied heavily on, he was the part of the core strategy building team of the party contributing in the making of catchy campaigns for the party to encircle the BJP during elections.

Some of the key campaigns were PayCM, 40 percent commission among others.

Kanugolu is a key member of  the Congress Task Force 2024, who got appointed in May last year, a team created to execute the Nav Sankalp declaration of the grand old party after its brainstorming session held in Udaipur last year.

The Task Force also includes senior leaders of the party Priyanka Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal and others.  

Kanugolu was earlier associated with the sharp witted poll strategist Prashant Kishor and was part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 Lok Sabha elections campaign.

Kanugolu has earlier also worked for the DMK and AIADMK.

As per reports, the data driven strategist was also behind the planning of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

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Karnataka News

Karnataka CM battle: DK Shivakumar turns down multiple options from Congress as stalemate continues



Stalemate between the Congress top brass and Karnataka unit chief DK Shivakumar continues over the Chief Minister post as latter has reportedly turned down several offers made to him by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi.

Quoting sources, an NDTV report said that Kharge and Gandhi made two offers to DK Shivakumar in a two-hour meeting at Delhi today but the Karnataka Congress leader turned down both options.

As per the report, the Congress high command offered Shivakumar the chair of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister—which he will not share with anyone, and six ministries of his choosing. He would also continue to head the state unit of the party.

Another offer pitched by the Congress was the idea of power sharing between Siddaramaiah—who the party seems determined to hand a second term as Chief Minister—and Shivakumar.

This would’ve meant that Siddaramaiah would head the government as Chief Minister for the first two years and then Shivakumar would ascend to the top post for the next three years.

However, the option was reportedly turned down by both leaders as both Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah want a shot at the Chief Minister’s chair first.

According to reports, Shivakumar has been adamant on becoming the next chief minister of Karnataka citing his work in rebuilding the party in the state over the last four years after the debacle of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s collapse which happened when a good portion of the party’s MLAs walked out.

Shivakumar is also a big name among the politically Vokkaligas while Siddaramaiah is backed by the AHINDA—a traditional Congress vote bank that consists of minorities, Other Backward Classes, and Dalits.

Earlier, another media report, quoting sources, had claimed that Siddaramaiah will be next chief minister of the state and state party chief DK Shivakumar will be his deputy.

According to an India Today report, after days of deliberating, the Congress high command has finally made up their mind and green-lighted Siddaramaiah as the next chief minister of Karnataka with DK Shivakumar likely to be given the deputy CM responsibilities.

The report, quoting Congress sources, said that Siddaramaiah will likely be sworn-in on Thursday afternoon and will take the oath alone.

A Congress legislator party meeting will also be called tomorrow at Kanteerava Stadium around 3.30 pm, the report said.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah were the main contenders for the state’s top post after the grand old party registered a thumping victory in last week’s Assembly elections by winning 135 out of the 224 seats.

Shivakumar, who along with Siddaramaiah, was the backbone of the Congress campaign that ousted the BJP from power in the recently held elections, is likely to be offered coveted portfolios along with the Deputy CM chair, the report said.

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