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Karnataka Crisis Deepens as Five More Rebel MLAs Move Supreme Court Against Speaker

The five MLAs have sought impleadment in the already pending application filed by the 10 other rebels in which the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.


Updated:July 13, 2019, 10:18 PM IST
Karnataka Crisis Deepens as Five More Rebel MLAs Move Supreme Court Against Speaker
Dissident MLAs from JD(S) and Congress leave Raj Bhavan after meeting with Karnataka Governor Vajuibhai Vala in Bengaluru on Saturday. (PTI)

New Delhi: As the political imbroglio in Karnataka continues, five more Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs are set to petition the Supreme Court against Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignations, sources said on Saturday.

The five lawmakers are Anand Singh, Munirathna, Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj and K Sudhakar. They have sought impleadment in the already pending application filed by the 10 other rebels MLAs on which the hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

In their petitions, the MLAs state that they had submitted their resignations in accordance with Article 190 read with Rule 202 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Bar & Bench reported. The applicants argue that the Speaker has refused to accept their resignations even though they were admitted in person.

The 10 rebel MLAs who earlier moved the apex court were Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.

The counsel for the rebels MLAs had contended that the Speaker has not decided on the resignations of the lawmakers to bind them with the party whip and disqualify them from the membership if they violate the whip on the floor of the House.

The development comes a day after the apex court directed Kumar to not take any decision on disqualification or resignation of the 10 MLAs, who had earlier approached the court on Wednesday, until July 16. With these five MLAs, the total number of legislators who have approached the apex court is now 15.

However, Nagaraj on Saturday also hinted at reconsidering his resignation after meeting party leader DK Shivakumar.

Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa confirmed the five had moved the Supreme Court.

A day after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy made a surprise announcement in the Assembly that he would seek a trust vote in the House, the ruling coalition has intensified efforts to reach out to the rebel MLAs.

Singh resigned on July 1, Munirathna on July 6, Baig three days later and Nagaraj and Sudhakar on July 10.

Nagaraj is also the Housing Minister in the 13-month-old Congress-JDS) coalition government. He was made a minister on December 22 when the Cabinet was reshuffled and expanded.

Though a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, directed the Speaker to allow the 10 rebels to resubmit their resignations and decide on them on July 11, it ordered the latter on July 12 to maintain status quo till July 16 when the case will be taken up for further hearing.

The Speaker sought more time from the apex court in deciding on the resignations as the ruling allies have petitioned him to disqualify them for defying their whip and alleged anti-party activities.

In a related development, Independents R Shankar and H Nagesh, who resigned as ministers on July 8 and withdrew their support to the coalition government, wrote to the Speaker to arrange their seats in the Opposition benches in the Assembly when they attend its Monsoon Session from Monday.

The development came on a day when Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said that the opposition is ready for a no-confidence motion. Earlier on Friday, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had made a surprise announcement in the Assembly that he would seek a trust vote.

Senior Congress leaders on Saturday also began back-channel negotiations to persuade the disgruntled MLAs to take back their resignations.

(With inputs from agencies)

| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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