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Karnataka: Amid drama, HD Kumaraswamy wins floor test after BJP MLAs walk out of assembly

Amid high drama, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Friday won the trust vote moments after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs walked out from Karnataka assembly.

The motion expressing confidence in the Kumaraswamy government was adopted by voice vote in the presence of JD(S)-Congress coalition MLAs and other lawmakers supporting the government.

Following Yeddyurappa’s resignation, on May 23, Kumaraswamy was sworn-in as the 24th chief minister of Karnataka, marking the beginning of the JD(S)-Congress alliance.

The Congress has 78 MLAs, Kumaraswamy’s JD(S) 36, and BSP 1. The alliance has also claimed support of the lone KPJP MLA and an independent. Kumaraswamy had won two seats.

Moments before the floor test, BJP legislators walked out after former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said that they will hold a state-wide bandh on May 28, if Kumaraswamy doesn’t waive off farmer loans.

Yeddyurappa said the JD(S) leader had promised to waive farm loans worth Rs 53,000 crore, including those borrowed from nationalised banks.

“It was you who had promised to waive farm loans within 24 hours (after assuming office). The farmers will not be ready to buy your stories that you head a coalition government and it has its own compulsions. You have to announce it in this special session itself. Else, we will prepare an action plan to launch our agitation across the state,” he said.

He also said he was conscious that he was not running a majority government.

He said, “we will be stable for five years. We will work for the people. We are not here to fulfil our personal interests.” Kumaraswamy said neither he nor the Deve Gowda family ever hankered after power, and pointed out that they had spent much of their political life in the opposition.

“I am not hankering after power… nor my (Gowda) family… we have spent much of our political life in the opposition,” he added.

He also said the government was committed to waiver of farm loan as promised during the elections.

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