Bengaluru | Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar today after meeting the 10 Rebel MLAs said he has videographed his meeting with the rebel MLAs on Supreme Court’s order and won’t act in any kind of haste.
Addressing Media after the meeting, Ramesh Kumar asked,” MLAs don’t communicate to me and rush to the Governor. What can he do? Is it not misuse? They approached the SC. My obligation is to people of this state & Constitution of the country. I am delaying because I love this land. I am not acting in haste.”
“The Supreme Court has asked me to take a decision. I have videographed everything and I will send it to the Supreme Court,” he added.
Speaking about the meeting with the Rebel MLAs, the speaker said,” They (rebel MLAs) told me that some people had threatened them and they went to Mumbai in fear. But I told them that they should’ve approached me and I would’ve given them protection. Only 3 working days have elapsed but they behaved like an earthquake occurred.”
Responding to the question on why did he rejected the resignation of the 8 MLAs, Ramesh Kumar said,” I scrutinized resignations based on rule202, Karnataka Assembly Rules and Procedures. 8 letters weren’t in the prescribed format. In case of the rest, I’m obliged to look if resignations are voluntary&genuine. Won’t speak about voluntary and genuine nature of resignations.”
When asked about him not been present in the Assembly when the MLAs arrived to submit their resignation, the Speaker clarified,” On July 6, I was in my chamber till 1.30 pm. The MLAs came there at 2 pm, they didn’t even take prior appointment. So, it’s untrue that I ran away because they were coming.”
“I felt hurt when I saw some news that I am delaying the process. Governor informed me on 6th. I was in office till then and later I left for personal work. Before that no MLAs informed that they were coming to meet me.,” he added.
As many as 10 Karnataka rebel MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, arrived here by two special flights, hours after the Supreme Court allowed them to meet the Assembly Speaker to convey their decision to resign.
The MLAs boarded a luxury bus from the HAL airport and proceeded towards the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat. While 10 of them arrived from Mumbai, one disgruntled Congress MLA Munirathna joined them at the Vidhana Soudha and went inside the Speakers chamber along with them.
Of the 16 MLAs who had resigned, 11 reached the speaker K R Ramesh Kumars office to tender their resignation afresh.
Besides Munirathna, the other MLAs who entered Speakers office were Byrathi Basavaraj, Ramesh Jarkiholi, S T Somashekhar, B C Patil, K Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayana Gowda, A H Vishwanath, Prathap Gouda Patil and Mahesh Kumathalli.
The top court earlier asked the Speaker 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 the airport to the Assembly after their arrival from Mumbai.
Police had made tight security arrangements at the Vidhana Soudha, and created a ‘zero traffic corridor’ to enable the MLAs reach the Speaker’s office well on time.
BJP MLA M P Renukacharya alleged that the police were preventing them from entering the Vidhana Soudha. The police have 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.
The MLAs were camping at a Mumbai Hotel since Saturday evening after resigning as legislators and withdrawing support to the 13-month-old government in the southern state.
High drama was witnessed Wednesday as senior Congress minister in Karnataka, D K Shivakumar, was prevented from entering the hotel where the MLAs were staying.
Police detained Shivakumar and sent him back to Bengaluru after the legislators informed the Mumbai police commissioner that they faced threat from the minister.
The resignation of 16 MLAs (13 from Congress and three from JDS) has pushed the coalition government to the brink of collapse. Two independent MLAs have also withdrawn support to the coalition government