Karnataka Crisis: Rebel MLAs Write To Mumbai Police, Allege "Serious Threat"
The political crisis in Karnataka continues to persist on its tenth day. 14 rebel MLAs from the ruling coalition government once again wrote a letter to Mumbai Police on July 15 seeking protection.
Letter to Cops
The MLAs’ residing in a luxurious hotel in Mumbai signed the letter to the Mumbai Police alleged that they have life threat from Congress leaders who may try to meet them. The 14 MLAs had returned to their hotel in Mumbai after meeting the Speaker – KR Ramesh in Karnataka for few hours under the direction of the Supreme Court last week.
"We've absolutely no intentions to meet Mallikarjun @kharge, Ghulam Nabi Azad or any Congress leader from Maharashtra & Karnataka as we anticipate serious threat from them": 14 Karnataka MLAs' to Mumbai Police#KarnatakaPoliticalCrisis pic.twitter.com/9A84eOuVag
— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) July 15, 2019
The letter addressed to the senior police inspector of Powai police station mentioned that the MLAs have no intentions to meet senior Congress leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge and Ghulam Nabi Azad, or Congress functionaries from Karnataka and Maharashtra units. The letter said, “We anticipate the serious threat from them.”
Shivram Hebbar, Mahesh K, BC Patil, Muniratnam, Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, H Nagesh, R Shankar, Gopalaiah, Ramesh J, Pratap Patil, MTB Nagraj, Basavaraja, and Somshekar signed the letter.
MTB Nagraj, who signed the letter on July 13 agreed to withdraw his resignation and join the Congress. However, on July 14 he flew back to Mumbai and joined the rebel MLAs saying that he would not withdraw his resignation.
In a similar manner, last week, 10 rebel MLAs had written to the Mumbai police when they were anticipating a visit from the Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and senior minister DK Shivakumar.
Kumaraswamy’s Call For Floor Test
The coalition government is trying its best to win over the rebel MLAs. On July 12, the CM on the first day of the monsoon session sought permission for the floor test and asked the Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to fix a date and time for the same.
While addressing Vidhan Soudha the political crisis and the Opposition’s demand to step down as the CM, Kumaraswamy said, “Today (July 12) there are many things happening in our state’s politics because of the decisions of many MLAs, which has created a difficult situation. I am not here to sit in power, I appeal to you that in light of the development I want to move a trust motion,” reported News18.
He further added, “The occasion is such that, I have to say this, I can continue only if I enjoy the trust of the House. In this background, I am not ready to misuse my position sitting in this place,” reported The Times Of India. The BJP has demanded a trust vote to be held on July 15.
Kumaraswamy’s requests for floor test came after the Supreme Court restrained the Speaker from taking further decision on the resignation and disqualification of the 10 rebel MLAs. The next hearing is scheduled on July 16, and the status quo will be maintained till then.
Mukul Rohatgi, senior advocate who was appearing for the ten rebel MLAs said that the Speaker was deliberately delaying the resignation process. He alleged that the speaker was trying to bind these rebel MLAs with the party.
However, the Speaker said that he sought time to go through every resignation letter before accepting them. The speaker also said that he never evaded from meeting the rebel MLAs. He also said he will provide videography of the meeting to the Supreme Court.
The Speaker’s remark came after the apex court’s order to decide on the resignation. Following this, all the rebel MLAs lodged in Mumbai flew back to Bangalore and dashed to the Speaker with their fresh resignation letter with correct format.
Earlier, the speaker bashed the MLA’s for submitting resignation letters in the wrong format.
Currently, there are 18 resignations pending to be approved – Congress (13) + JD(S) (3)) with two independent MLAs. If the resignations are approved then the strength of the ruling government will drop to 100 from 118. Drop-in number in the strength will set the majority mark to 105 from 113. BJP currently has 105 members intact, with the support of the two independent MLAs, BJP number will climb to 107, two more than the majority mark.