Karnataka: Congress Leaders Detained Outside Rebel MLAs' Hotel, Speaker To Take 6 Days To Confirm Resignation
In a significant relief to the Congress-JD(S) coalition government amidst the resignations of the MLAs, the assembly speaker – KR Ramesh has decided to take a minimum of six days to decide on the resignation of rebel MLAs.
Following this, the rebel MLAs who are camped at a 5-star hotel in Mumbai, have petitioned the Supreme court against the speaker’s decision. On July 9, Congress senior leader – DK Shivakumar who flew from Bengaluru to Mumbai was barred from entering the Renaissance Hotel where the rebel MLAs were staying.
Later in the day, he was detained with other party members. On the night of July 8, anticipating, Shivakumar’s visit, the rebel MLAs wrote a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner seeking police protection alleging life threat from the Congress leader. Referring to the detention of Shivakumar, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that the current situation in Karnataka is “worse than Emergency”. He also said that all political parties should come together to save democracy.
Speaker Comes To The Rescue
Amidst the ongoing political crisis in the state, where everything is going against the already shaky coalition government, the assembly speaker’s announcement of taking six days to look into the resignation of MLAs is a comfort to the state government.
The speaker, who is a Congress member understanding the crucial role that he is about to play said, “Every step I take will become history, so I can’t be committing a mistake…I need to be convinced that the resignations are voluntary and genuine.”
The speaker’s decision came just after another Congress MLA Roshan Baig who was suspended from the party submitted his resignation letter. Baig refused to join BJP and said he would not go to Delhi or Mumbai. He said that as chairman of the state Haj committee, he is going to the airport to oversee arrangements for the pilgrims.
The speaker overseeing the resignation letters said that of the 13 resignations only five followed the proper format. The five MLAs whose resignation letters were correct are – K Gopalaiah, K Narayan Gowda, R Ramalinga Reddy, Pratap Gouda Patil, and Anand Singh. The speaker said that the other eight MLAs have to resubmit their resignation letters. He also asked these five MLAs to appear in front of him in two batches on July 12 and July 15.
The speaker took a jibe at the rebel MLAs who have sent their resignation through posts. He said that there is no need for a speaker if the resignation can be sent through postal correspondence. Further justifying the speaker’s role, he said that if the speaker is convinced that the resignations are voluntary and genuine then only he can accept them.
He further revealed that the governor – Vajubhai R Vala has exhumed confidence on the speaker and said that he will perform his duty complying the constitutional norms.
BJP is demanding the resignation of the CM HD Kumaraswamy.
What Will Happen If The Resignations Are Accepted?
If the resignation of the 16 MLAs (including Baig) then the strength of the coalition government will plunge to 100 which is 13 less than the halfway mark of 113 and six less than the majority mark of 116 in the 224-member Karnataka House. The BJP with the support of two independent and the lone BSP MLA has 108 MLAs. Earlier when the government was formed, the strength of the coalition government was 119 (Congress – 79, JD(S) – 37, Independents – 2, and BSP 1).