Cong attacks BJP over Karnataka trust vote

Congress slammed the way BJP govt in Karnataka won the trust vote, terming it as "murder of democracy" & accused the Assembly Speaker of indulging in "manipulative and unethical act" in collusion with ruling party.

Bangalore: Congress on Monday slammed the way the BJP government in Karnataka won the trust vote, terming it as "murder of democracy" and accused the Assembly Speaker of indulging in "manipulative and unethical act" in collusion with the ruling party.

The Karnataka Congress petitioned the Governor H R Bhardwaj requesting him to recommend dismissal of the B S Yeddyurappa government claiming that it had lost majority. The central leaders, however, evaded a direct reply on whether the
state government should be dismissed saying they would first wait for the Governor`s report to the Centre.

"What happened in Karnataka Assembly on Monday was not only the complete murder of democracy but also of constitutionalism.... The unfortunate spectacle of a minority
government being turned into a majority government by a collusive, manipulative and unethical act perpetrated by the Speaker of the Assembly," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said in New Delhi.

Questioning why no division of vote was held, he alleged that it was not only the tenth schedule of the Constitution dealing with anti-defection law that was "trampled upon" but "the spirit of the Indian Constitution was massacred" in Karnataka Assembly.

After meeting the Governor in Bangalore, Congress leader Siddaramaiah alleged that Speaker K G Bopaiah and the Chief Minister had acted in collusion in passing the
motion of confidence by voice vote and sought dismissal of the government.
Asked whether the party would seek dismissal of the state government, Tewari said, "so far as what Congress would do, let us first of all wait for the report of the Governor...depending upon the sort of recommendation he makes, Congress would then finalize what its future strategy would be".

Attacking BJP for its claim of having a majority in the Karnataka Assembly, Tewari said, "if BJP claims that it had the numbers then why disqualify the MLAs even before they
exercise their right to vote...If BJP was confident of its numbers, there should have been a proper division (of votes) in the House, a process should have been followed".

Another party spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan termed the trust vote in Karnataka as a "fraud on the Constitution and democracy".

"The role of the Speaker has been an assault on democracy...This is nothing but a fraud on democracy and a shameless attempt to subvert the Constitutional process and
put in place an illegal government," she said. AICC General Secretary B K Harirprasad accused the BJP for "ruining" the image of Karnataka and bringing "disrepute"
to the state politics.

"Whatever has happened in Karnataka is shameful. It is totally unconstitutional, unethical and illegal," he said. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Monday "won" a vote of confidence in the Assembly after the Speaker disqualified 16 MLAs, including 11 of BJP, hours before the trial of strength.