Karnataka crisis: After SC order, Speaker decides to scrutinize afresh resignations of eight MLAs

Karnataka crisis: After SC order, Speaker decides to scrutinize afresh resignations of eight MLAs


Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar addressing the media after meeting with rebel MLAs. (Express Photo by Darshan Devaiah)

Hours after the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka Assembly Speaker to take a decision “forthwith” on the resignations of 10 rebel Congress-JDS MLAs, the legislators arrived at the Bengaluru Vidhan Soudha to submit fresh resignations. Following a meeting, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said that he will need time to scrutinize the papers to verify if they are in order over the next few days.

“I have heard them and have directed them to give arguments in writing,” the Speaker said. After rejecting most of the resignation letters for not being in the “proper format”, the Speaker said all resignations are now in order.

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“The Supreme Court has asked me to make a decision. I have videographed everything and I will send it to the Court,” Kumar further said.

Defending his position, which had come under severe criticism owing to delay in accepting the resignations, Kumar said that the rebel MLAs failed to communicate to him their decisions and rushed to the Governor. “MLAs didn’t communicate to me and rushed to the Governor. What can he do? Is it not misuse? They approached the Supreme Court. My obligation is to people of this state and the Constitution of the country. I am delaying because I love this land. I am not acting in haste,” Kumar told the media.

“There was no need for them (MLAs who resigned) to approach the Supreme Court and get me advice that I should meet them. They could have willingly come here. That itself shows the whole thing is murky,” Kumar added.

Rebel MLAs Vishwanath, Munirathna, Mahesh Kumathalli, Pratap Gowda arrive to meet the Speaker, at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Earlier in the day, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the decision taken by the Speaker has to be intimated on Friday when the court takes up the matter again. The bench, comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, also directed the Karnataka DGP to provide protection to the 10 MLAs from the airport to the Assembly after their arrival from Mumbai.

Goa meltdown | 10 ex-Congress MLAs join BJP in presence of Nadda

The rebel MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai after resigning from the state assembly, arrived in Bengaluru in two special flights. While 10 of them arrived from Mumbai, one disgruntled Congress legislator Munirathna joined them at the Vidhana Soudha.

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Bengaluru: Rebel MLA Byrathi Basavaraj arrives to meet the Speaker, at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

BJP MLA M P Renukacharya, however, alleged that the police were preventing them from entering the Vidhana Soudha. The police had already clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, restricting the gathering of more than five people and any form of protests within the two-km area around the Vidhana Soudha.

CM Kumaraswamy chairs Cabinet Meeting

Days after all Congress and JDS ministers resigned to make way for accommodating rebel MLAs, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy called a Cabinet meeting Thursday. The Cabinet resolved to face the unfolding political situation in the state “bravely” and “withstand” it unitedly. “Political developments were discussed, what was discussed and decided was that the government is in a crisis situation, there is no doubt about it, various reasons for it and steps to solve it was discussed,” Rural development minister Krishna Byre Gowda said. The government alleged that this is a “continuous assault” by the BJP using the central government.

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Bengaluru: Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar arrives at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, Thursday, July 11, 2019. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) (PTI7_11_2019_000167B)

A session of the state assembly is set to begin on Friday and all the Congress and JDS MLAs have been issued whips to attend the session. The whip will be in force under the present circumstances, the Speaker clarified. Legislators who do not attend the assembly session will be liable to face disqualification under the anti-defection law. The BJP is expected to avoid seeking a vote of confidence on account of the Congress JDS retaining its numbers.



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