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Karnataka Political Crisis: Rebel MLAs reach Bengaluru to meet Assembly Speaker

Bengaluru | The political drama of the Karnataka Assembly has reached back where it all started. The 10 rebel MLAs have returned back to Bengaluru to meet the State Assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.

The development arose after the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to decide “forthwith” on Thursday about the resignation of 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) coalition MLAs, allowing them to meet him at 6 pm.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said 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 Bengaluru airport to the Assembly after their arrival from Mumbai.

Hours after the order was passed, the Speaker through his counsel, rushed to the apex court for modification of the direction asking him to decide the issue of the resignation in the course of the day.

However, the bench, which assembled after the lunch break told the Speaker’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi that the order has already been passed in the morning on the Karnataka Assembly crisis and his application will be taken up Friday along with the plea of the rebel MLAs.

The 10 rebel MLAs had moved apex court alleging that the Karnataka Assembly Speaker was not accepting their resignations.

The MLAs who have filed the petition are Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, B C Patil, S T Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, A H Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.

The MLAs have alleged that the Speaker was protecting the government, which is in minority now, and sought a direction that he be restrained from proceeding with the application for their disqualification.

“Acting in a concerted manner, the Congress party has filed a petition before the Speaker seeking disqualification of the MLAs who have resigned. Needless to state, the disqualification proceedings are completely illegal and without any cause of action,” they have said.

The rebel MLAs have stated that the assembly session is to begin from July 12, the same day that the MLAs have been asked to appear before the Speaker, which showed the “intent of the Speaker to disqualify the petitioners in a prejudged manner”.

Thirteen MLAs — 10 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) — submitted their resignation to the Speaker’s office on July 6. Another Congress MLA, R Roshan Baig, resigned on Tuesday. The ruling coalition’s total strength is 116 — Congress-78, JD(S)-37 and BSP-1, besides the Speaker.

With the support of two independents, who resigned on July 8, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

With Inputs from Agencies…

 

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