PRAMESH S JAIN
Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar met 10 rebel lawmakers from the ruling coalition this evening in keeping with a Supreme Court order,but it seemed unlikely that their resignations would be accepted in the coming hours.The sole reason for this,Ramesh Kumar claimed,was his obligation to the state.
The 10 rebel lawmakers are among the 18 who have deserted the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine over the last few days,leaving the HD Kumaraswamy government teetering on the brink of collapse and giving the opposition BJP a clear edge in the floor test to come.However, the lawmakers have alleged that Ramesh Kumar is deliberately delaying his decision on the resignation letters submitted to him just for buying the ruling coalition enough time to shore up its numbers.
As many as 10 Karnataka rebel MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, arrived in Bengaluru by two special flights, hours after the Supreme Court allowed them to meet the Assembly Speaker to convey their decision to resign.Even as the resignation of these Congress-JDS MLAs pushed the coalition government further to the brink, the BJP, with the strength of 105 members in the house, is eyeing to form the next government in Karnataka.The MLAs had recieved traffic clearance to reach Vidhana Soudha from HAL Airport in Bengaluru.
Security was hightightened in and around Vidhana Soudha and HAL Airport the security arrangements were inspected at both the places by DG&IGP Karnataka state Neelamani N Raju with Commissioner of Police,Alok Kumar inspected the whole area of HAL Airport and Vidhana Soudha heavy police were deployed as in the morning Supreme Court directed the DG&IGP to make all necessary arrangements till the Rebel MLAs reaches from Mumbai to meet speaker and about more than 1000 police personnel were deployed from HAL Airport to Vidhana Soudha all the Addl CPs as,Umesh Kumar, Murugan,P.Harishekaran,Joint CP CAR,Suresh,DIG,Dr.Br.
Ravikanthe Gowda,all the DCPs as,Dr.Chandragupta,Ramesh Banoth,Rohini Katoch Sepat,Shashi kumar,MN Anucheth,Jagadeesh,Rahul Kumar Sharpode,Vishnuvarshan,Girish S,Yogesh Kumar,Dr.Soumyalatha.SK,with other DCPs,ACPs,PIs,PSIs,of CCB and special Garuda team in plain clothes were deployed for no untoward incident to take place as on Wednesday there was a heckle situation where in a MLA of Chikkaballapur
Was pulled by angry congress leader Punches in power corridor between coalition government was seen so for the precautionary measures and safety of others adequate elaborate security arrangements was done and whole security overseas by DG&IGP Karnataka,Neelamani N Raju,Commissioner of police Alok Kumar.
All the Rebel MLAs were escorted from HAL Airport till vidhana soudha with tight security DCP Crime,Girish S, with other officers escorted them and brought them to Vidhana Soudha and as soon as they reached at Vidhana Soudha MLAs, like Byrathi Basavaraj and others seen running as they were given deadline to reach before 6 pm in front of Speaker so Byrathi Basavaraj the KR Puram MLA with cops who were escorting them were also seen running inside the vidhana soudha by running the MLAs reached the speaker office by 6:05 pm all the MLAs were present and they submitted there fresh resignation letter in a prescribed formed and state government lawyers were also present in the speakers office the Rebel MLAs were questioned for about 50 minutes by the speaker who asked them are you tendering resignation on your own the rebel MLAs shared their grievieances to the speaker and said they are threatened by their own party members the same was Confirmed by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar after meeting the rebel MLAs were again escorted safely with full Police protection to HAL Airport in the supervision of DCP Crime Girish S was heading the escort team and then they again left to Mumbai and by in the evening around 10 pm they reached to Mumbai in two different lights from Mumbai Airport till hotel the Mumbai Police escorted them safely to hotel.
Speaking to reporters after a one-hour meeting with the rebel MLAs, the speaker said that he would to have examine if the resignations by ruling coalition MLAs were voluntary and genuine.As per the Karnataka Legislature Rules, intended resignation should be in perfect format, Kumar told media persons after meeting the disgruntled legislators.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 and Constitution of the country. I am delaying because I love this land. I am not acting in haste, speaker stated.He added,”The Supreme Court has asked me to take a decision. I have video-graphed everything and I will send it to the Supreme Court. 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.Furthermore, he rejected allegations which held him responsible for the current political situation in Karnataka.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. 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. The Speaker, however, flatly rejected the allegations.There is a feeling that I am deliberately holding back the resignations. They say that I intentionally refrained from meeting them when they visited my office on July 6 without an appointment. But the truth is, I had to leave early. Being a Sunday,I had prior commitments,Ramesh Kumar said.Ramesh Kumar also expressed dismay over the manner in which the rebel legislators had rushed to Supreme Court instead of approaching him in person. “They never came to me with any of this. They went to Mumbai and from there to the Supreme Court but they did not come to meet me, their own speaker. Is this fair?” he asked, accusing the rebels of “changing three parties between breakfast, lunch and dinner.He said I am 70 years old already, an age where one can’t expect to gain much from playing political games. “But all this made it seem like I am a bad person. Please let me die in peace,So, it’s untrue that I ran away because they were coming,” the speaker defended himself.The Speaker added that the current events in Karnataka is a continuation of what has been described as a ‘national malady’.I am not under anyone’s obligation. [My obligation] is to the people of this place and the country’s Constitution.Mr.Ramesh Kumar said that approaching the the Governor for silly reason” was misuse of Constitutional post.Do the MLAs have to the approach the Supreme Court to meet me?” he asked, adding that the MLAs could have come to meet him rather than go away to Mumbai and then accuse him of not being available.I have told the MLAs that they could have approached me for protection if they faced any threat.He even asserted that he needs to examine the resignations submitted by rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs.Earlier in the day, the top court had directed 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 he added.
Earlier in the day,Congress leader DK Shivakumar,who returned to Bengaluru on Wednesday after he was not allowed to meet the rebel MLAs who were staying at a hotel in Mumbai,said good sense will prevail and the rebel MLAs will support the government.I have confidence that they will have good sense and not leave party from which they have been elected, said Shivakumar at Vidhana Soudha.
Why Should I resign? CM HD Kumaraswamy.
Responding to questions by media persons whether he would be resigning, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy asked why should he resign.Had B S Yeddyurappa resigned during a similar crisis in 2010? There is no question of me resigning,He was referring to a crisis in the then BJP government when 18 MLAs including eight ministers had withdrawn support to the government in 2010.
All eyes on Cabinet meet.
Karnataka Cabinet led by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is set to meet at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Amidst a political crisis set off by a spate of resignations by coalition parties Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), all eyes are on the Cabinet meeting.
According to sources, there is speculation that Mr. Kumaraswamy could broach the topic of dissolution, which he is said to be in favour of. Sources added that Congress is not amenable to the idea of dissolution and wants to sit in the Opposition, if the situation demands.Some within the JD(S) are also not keen on the option of dissolution,” said the source.They are proposing an alternative of handing over the Chief Minister’s post to a prominent Congress rebel leader.As soon as the CM started beginning the cabinet meeting Governor sends a circular to chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar to not to pass any orders based on that the Hundreds of police inspector transfers were holded by CM HD Kumaraswamy for the ongoing political developments.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary Rajaneesh Goyal and Director General and Inspector General of Police,Neelamani Raju with Commissioner of police,Alok Kumar with other officers checked the security arrangements in Vidhana Soudha ahead of the arrival of rebel legislators from Mumbai.
Vidhana Soudha has literally turned into a fortress with a large posse of policemen deployed inside and outside the power centre. Entry of visitors have been restricted with only secretariat staff being allowed inside.
Earlier in the day, Congress Legislative Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao, former MP Ugrappa and Home Minister M.B.Patil met the Speaker in the morning in connection with disqualification petition that the Congress had filed in February 2019 against four legislators Ramesh Jharkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli, B. Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav.
While the petition no longer mentions Mr. Jadhav, who is now BJP MP from Gulbarga, sources said Congress is pursuing the case against Mr.Jharkiholi and Mr. Kumatalli only leaving Mr. Nagendra also outside the ambit.
The Congress leaders had come to Speaker’s chamber as Mr.Ramesh Kumar had scheduled the proceedings for Thursday.
“BJP has nothing to do with our stay in Mumbai: Byrathi Basavaraj”.
The rebel MLAs have left the Mumbai hotel and are on their way to the airport.
Speaking to reporters before departure, ex-Congress MLA Byrathi Basavaraj said as per the Supreme Court’s direction they are leaving for Bengaluru to resubmit their resignations to Speaker.There is no change in our stand, he said.
Refuting charges that they are in the custody of BJP, Mr.Basavaraj said “they were still members of Congress party,” and added: “we have only sought protection from Maharashtra government. Apart from that the local government here [Maharashtra] has nothing to do with our stay in Mumbai.It may be noted that the rebel MLAs have not quit the party yet.
“BJP demands Speaker’s resignation”
The BJP has demanded Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s resignation while expressing anger over the delay in accepting resignations of rebel MLAs from the ruling coalition.Speaking to reporters, BJP MLA and former minister M.P.Renukacharya alleged that the speaker was responsible for the Wednesday’s ugly scenes in Vidhana Soudha as things would not have happened if there was an early decision on the resignations of MLAs.
He accused the Speaker of acting like a worker of a particular party and questioned the delay in accepting the resignations of MLAs.
Delegation of BJP leaders try to enter Speaker’s office:
A delegation of BJP leaders are trying to enter the Speaker’s office even as a JD(S) delegation is with the Speaker to press for disqualification of three party legislators who have turned rebels. Police are trying to convince them by stating that the speaker has asked no one to be allowed near his office located on the first floor of Vidhana Soudha.
JD(S) leader and former MLC Ramesh Babu filed the disqualification petition on behalf of the party on Wednesday. However, since Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar had sought additional details Mr. Babu accompanied by Chief Minister’s Political Secretary Kone Reddy have arrived at speaker’s chamber with their lawyers.
Friction in BJP over Gopalaiah joining the party:
About 50 workers of the BJP on Thursday met Party State President B.S.Yeddyurappa and opposed the proposed entry of Janata Dal (S) MLA K.Gopalaiah into the party.
Alleging that his role had been suspected in the death of a BJP worker some time ago, they expressed concern that his entry to the BJP would demoralize the party workers.
They also maintained that he would not fit into the party ideology and said there was a huge resentment against him among BJP workers in the constituency.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar has issued prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, restricting the gathering of more than five persons and any form of protests within the two-km area around the Vidhana Soudha.
The police commissioner issued the orders on Wednesday night, taking into account intelligence inputs.
BJP, on the other hand, hit out at the speaker saying the latter is behaving unconstitutionally and undemocratically. The saffron party accused the speaker of colluded with the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition. “What is the Speaker’s problem if the MLAs are resigning?” the BJP leader’s comment comes soon after the speaker Ramesh Kumar sought more time to examine resignations.
Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will wait for the Supreme Court (SC) order scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Speaking to reporters Yeddyurappa said, 10 MLAs have resigned so far but their resignation is not accepted, this is not right. All these MLAs have gone back to mumbai. We will see what the Supreme Court will say tomorrow he added.
Congress petition Speaker to disqualify 8 MLAs :
A Congress delegation has petitioned Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, seeking the disqualification of Congress’ eight rebel MLAs under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution for defection. Earlier, the party had petitioned to disqualify only two MLAs,Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumatalli.The party has not petitioned the Speaker to disqualify three other rebel MLAs,Ramalinga Reddy, M.T.B Nagaraj and Dr. K.Sudhakar.Meanwhile,Janata Dal (Secular) has also petitioned the Speaker to disqualify three rebel MLAs.
10 days session to begin on Friday.
Kumar’s clear intent to delay accepting the resignations assumes significance as the Assembly will be convening on Friday for a 10-day session. Till their resignations are accepted, the 16 legislators 13 of the Congress and 3 of the Janata Dal-Secular would be bound by the whip issued by their respective parties regarding their attendance of the Assembly and any voting therein.
And if they violate the whip, they can face disciplinary action, including disqualification,which will bar them from re-election for the remaining period of the Assembly. Both the Congress and the JD-S have issued whips to all their legislators to be present in the Assembly for passing the state Budget (finance bill) and participate in the discussions on other subjects till the session ends.
The whip has been issued even to the rebels, as their resignations have not been accepted by the Speaker so far,” Congress spokesman Ravi Gowda told media persons but the whip does not count to rebel MLAs after tendering resignation says experts.
Minister HD Kumaraswamy, meanwhile, chaired a crucial cabinet meeting to take stock of the situation. Earlier this week, Kumaraswamy also met with senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, KC Venugopal,Ghulam Nabi Azad, DK Shivakumar, Dinesh Gundu Rao and Eshwar Khandre, at Bengaluru’s Kumara Krupa guesthouse.
CM HD Kumaraswamy said that Congress-JDS coalition in the state is going strong despite the efforts to destabilise.We are confident and prepared for a smooth and fruitful conduct of legislative sessions,” the Chief Minister said.
Late in the midnight there was a speculations about meeting of SARA Mahesh with BJP leaders as KS Eshwarappa and Muralidhar Rao sources Breaking : Sources confirmed BJP has offered JDS Chief minister post and has told them to form a coalition with them. JDS is contemplating the options. JDS minister Sa Ra Mahesh met BJP Karnataka incharge Muralidhar Rao.
CM HD Kumaraswamy reacted to this news by tweeting,”Congress -JDS coalition in the state is going strong despite the efforts to destabilize. We are confident and prepared for a smooth and fruitful conduct of legislative sessions.It is unnecessary to give importance to Tourism Minister Sa. Ra. Mahesh’s casual meeting with BJP leaders at the new building of KK guest house, managed by KSTDC which comes under his portfolio he tweeted.
P. Muralidhar Rao, also reacted by tweeting,There is no truth in any kind of discussion with JDS minister.In a public place it was a mere coincidence.Don’t go by highly speculative sensationalization. Don’t believe n spread rumours!
Once again I’m reiterating d Evil empire of Cong-JDS is fast going down. @BJP4Karnataka is watching n ready to do any thing to safeguard to protect d interests of people of d great state n save democracy. Don’t get trapped by conspirators! he tweeted.
Roshan Baig met CM HD Kumaraswamy at Taj west end hotel and after meeting the CM he dint react and left later the CM HD Kumaraswamy left from Taj West End hotel to undisclosed location without any escort.
If the speaker accepts all the 16 resignations, the Assembly’s effective strength will drop to 209 from 225 and the ruling coalition will be reduced to 100, when the halfway mark would be 105.
Besides the 16 MLAs of the Congress and the JD-S, the KPP legislator and the Independent have also withdrawn their support to the government. On the other hand, the BJP has 105 MLAs and is eyeing the government formation.
In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated, the Congress has 79 MLAs, including Speaker, and JD-S has 37. Lone members of BSP and KPJP (a regional outfit) besides an Independent also were with the government, taking their tally to 118, five more than the required majority mark.
A total of 16 MLAs have resigned from the ruling Congress-JD(S) government with two independent legislators, H Nagesh and R Shankar withdrawing support. If the resignations are deemed genuine and are accepted by the Assembly Speaker, the total strength of the coalition government will decrease to 101 in comarison to the BJP’s 105, paving the way for the BJP to demand a trust vote.