Following the Supreme Court order, Karnataka's rebel MLAs on Thursday (July 11) came down to Bengaluru from Mumbai to submit fresh resignation letters to Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in Vidhana Soudha. The Speaker sought time to verify them, which may take a week or even a month.
Bengaluru: As many as 10 Karnataka rebel MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, arrived in the city in two special flights, hours after the Supreme Court ordered them to meet the Assembly Speaker to submit fresh resignation letters in the right format.
The MLAs boarded a luxury bus from the HAL airport and proceeded towards Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.
While 10 of the MLAs arrived from Mumbai, another disgruntled Congress MLA Munirathna joined them at the Vidhana Soudha to meet the Speaker along with them.
Of the 18 MLAs who had resigned, 11 reached Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar's office to tender their resignation letters afresh. The Speaker had earlier said that five were already with him in the right format.
Besides Munirathna, the other MLAs, who entered Speaker's office were Byrathi Basavaraj, Ramesh Jarkiholi, ST Somashekhar, BC Patil, K Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayana Gowda, AH Vishwanath, Prathap Gouda Patil and Mahesh Kumathalli.
The top court earlier asked the Speaker to decide "forthwith" on Thursday about the resignation of the rebel MLAs.
The resignation of 16 MLAs (13 from Congress and three from JDS) and two independent MLAs has pushed the coalition government to the brink of collapse.
Speaking to reporters in Vidhana Soudha, Karnataka Assembly Speaker said, "Yes the MLAs came, and have given the resignations in the right format. They later asked me if I will accept, but I cannot do that. You (rebel MLAs) go to Supreme Court, come here under police protection. I have to think over this all night and take a decision and see if this is voluntary and genuine."
However, the Speaker later claimed that remaining three rebel MLAs are yet to submit their resignations afresh in the prescribed format.
Nonetheless, the Speaker pointed out that the rebel MLAs who failed to submit their resignations on Thursday (July 11), would be allowed to submit the same on Monday (July 15) or Tuesday (July 16).
While the Speaker ensured that the proceedings with the rebel MLAs were videographed, he also mentioned that he would have to verify the letters, ascertain the reasons and only then take a decision, if satisfied, which could "take a week or even a month".
Meanwhile, Kumar would be submitting the recorded video of the proceedings with the rebels to the apex court that is scheduled to hear the matter tomorrow.
After submitting their resignations, the dissidents were immediately taken to an undisclosed location with massive police protection from the Vidhana Soudha.
The Karnataka Assembly session will commence on Friday (July 12). It would be interesting to know if the state BJP unit would call for a floor test. Also, the question of disqualification can arise if they defy the whip of their respective parties. The sole discretion, at this point in time, lies with the Speaker.
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Last Updated 11, Jul 2019, 8:34 PM