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Home » Decide rebel MLAs’ resignation by midnight: SC to Karnataka speaker | India News

Decide rebel MLAs’ resignation by midnight: SC to Karnataka speaker | India News

NEW DELHI: The political crisis in Karnataka entered its sixth day on Thursday, with Supreme Court seeking a decision on the resignations of rebel MLAs by the day-end and speaker KR Ramesh Kumar reserving his decision, declaring he was not “under the obligations of anyone” and that he “did not want to commit mistakes”.
Amid political uncertainty, the monsoon session of the assembly begins on Friday. BJP has decided to raise the issue of the resignations after the obituary references, saying the Kumaraswamy government has lost its majority.
Even as the ball remains in the speaker’s court on the fate of the rebel MLAs – and that of the government – a lot depends on how SC reacts on Friday to Kumar wanting to give himself more time to decide whether the MLAs’ resignations are genuine and voluntary and should be accepted. On Thursday, hearing the MLAs’ plea, the apex court set 6pm as the deadline for the legislators to meet the speaker and submit their resignations in the prescribed format. It also gave Kumar till 10am on Friday, when the petitions come up for hearing, to decide on the resignations.
“The apex court has said, take decision ‘forthwith’. I had the entire proceedings of MLAs’ meeting and of them submitting their resignations videographed and will be giving it to SC on Friday. I have asked some questions to the MLAs and some said they faced hurdles when they came here. It will take the entire night for me to think on all these,” he told reporters after a 30-minute-long meeting with 11 rebel MLAs in his chamber. Soon after meeting Kumar, the MLAs returned to the Mumbai hotel where they had been staying for the last few days.
Dismissing murmurs that he was delaying a decision, Kumar said: “I am delaying because I love this land. I’m not acting in haste. I am not under anybody’s obligation except to the people of the state.”
Kumar had moved SC against its order soon after but the bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said it would take up the plea on Friday.
Disapproving of the MLAs’ “rushing” to SC, Kumar said: “The MLAs submitted the resignations on July 6 at 2.30pm after I had left my office. Later, they met governor Vajubhai R Vala. What can the governor do…he sent the resignation letters to me. Should we be making using of the governor’s secretariat for silly reasons? Later, they left for Mumbai and then to New Delhi to file petition in SC. So was I delaying the process?” he said.
Asked if the pending disqualification petitions against two of the rebels – Ramesh Jarikholi and Mahesh Kumathalli – would take precedence, Kumar said he was in a quandary.
“I have been speaking to many of the seniors in the legal faculty and also going through dozens of constitutional books. If the resignation of a member is accepted, then the proceedings for disqualification get nullified. While both mean giving up the membership of the House, there is a difference,” the speaker said. If the speaker is convinced that the resignation is genuine and voluntary, then the MLAs can contest once again during the term of the House. However, in case of disqualification, the member will be barred from contesting for six years. “As a result, if I hurriedly complete the process, then I will be doing injustice. I am in a fix and want to go by my conscience,” said Kumar.
Earlier in the day, CLP leader Siddaramaiah met the speaker on the petition he had submitted in February this year seeking the disqualification of Jarkiholi and Kumathalli for deying the whip and staying away from the CLP meeting.
Meanwhile, BSP’s lone MLA N Mahesh told TOI that his support to the Congress-JD(S) coalition is issue-based and “it is with them so far”.

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