On a day of high drama in the Karnataka Assembly and swift developments later, Governor Vajubhai Vala on Thursday directed Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to prove his majority on Friday by 1:30 p.m.
"I require you to prove your majority on the floor of the House on or before 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday)," said Vala in a letter to the Chief Minister within hours after Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar adjourned the Assembly to meet on Friday at 11 a.m. for resuming the debate on the confidence motion Kumaraswamy moved earlier in the day for a floor test.
The Governor also brought to the chief minister's attention that he had already directed the Speaker to hold the floor test by the end of the day (Thursday) under Article 175(2) of the Constitution.
"But I am informed that the House is adjourned today (Thursday). Under these circumstances, I require you to prove majority on Friday by 1:30 p.m.," the letter reiterated.
The Governor's direction to the Chief Minister and the Speaker earlier was in response to a written representation to him by a delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators that the House proceedings for vote of confidence have been stalled and consequently adjourned without reaching any finality.
"This cannot go on in a democratic set-up governed by the Constitution," Vala said in the letter.
Referring to the BJP's complaint to him that the government was dragging the trust vote, the Governor said even as the head of the state he had not intervened in the issue, as the Assembly was already called and the trust vote moved.
"The fact that 15 legislators who resigned and two members who withdrew support to the government have met me and other attendant circumstances do prime facie indicate that you have lost majority or confidence of the House," Vala recalled on the occasion.
Noting that of the 117 members of the ruling Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress allies, if 15 of them were to move away, Vala said their action would cast a serious doubt on the confidence in the government led by Kumaraswamy.
"It is well settled that the Chief Minister and his ministry are expected to always enjoy and maintain the confidence of the House," added the letter.