Rebel Karnataka MLAs back in Mumbai

Rebel Karnataka MLAs back in Mumbai

A defiant Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy yesterday said he was ready to seek trust vote to prove that his JD-S-Congress coalition government had majority in the Assembly.

However, the Congress got a rude shock after its MLAs started resigning since last Saturday. "As per the instruction of the central leadership, I have conveyed the message to Sardesai and Khaunte that they should resign as ministers", Sawant told TOI from Delhi.

The apex court has listed for hearing on Friday the petition of the 10 rebel MLAs seeking a direction to Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for accepting their resignations.

A fresh plea has been moved in Supreme Court by Karnataka Youth Congress chief and 400 party workers.

Six more Congress lawmakers who resigned, did not go to the top court against the Speaker.

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.

Kumaraswamy said that the Assembly will discuss several other matters and absent MLAs will be disqualified under the "anti-defection law".

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While some of the leaders are of the opinion that the decision was taken in the interest of the party, many others feel party's interest should have been protected before taking any such decision.

"In a statement, he said instead of putting an alternate structure in place after Rahul quit, "a month was wasted pleading" with him to take back his resignation, which:as a man of honour and integrity, he should not have been pressured to do". All that the Speaker is saying is that under Article 190 he is entitled to check if the resignations are voluntary, genuine and bona fide.

It also directed the Karnataka director general of police to provide protection to the rebel MLAs from Bengaluru airport to the Assembly after their arrival from Mumbai.

"It is only after such enquiry/process that the satisfaction of the Speaker can be reached", he submitted. Also to be considered would be the question whether in a situation where resignations by MLAs and disqualification proceedings are pending against the same MLAs, the Speaker is obligated under the Constitution to decide the disqualification issue in the first instance.

The Speaker submitted that the 10th schedule casts a mandatory duty on him to decide applications for disqualifications under para 2 of the 10th schedule.

The JD-S had 37 MLAs before three of them submitted their resignations.

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