Five more rebel Karnataka Congress MLAs approached the Supreme Court Saturday, saying that the Speaker was not accepting their resignations. The MLAs also alleged that they “are being forced to support the government on the threat of disqualification”.
The development comes a day after the apex court directed Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar not to take any decision on the disqualification or resignation of 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) coalition MLAs until July 16.
Five more Karnataka rebel MLAs approach Supreme Court saying Speaker not accepting their resignation. Alleges they “are being threatened to support the Govt. on the threat of disqualification” @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) July 13, 2019
The 10 rebels had moved the Supreme Court against the Speaker’s decision rejecting their resignations. The Speaker had rejected the resignations of the 10 MLAs on the ground that they were not in the correct format.
Earlier in the day, one of the rebel Congress MLAs, MTB Nagaraj, told reporters that DK Shivakumar and other leaders came and requested them to withdraw their resignations. Nagaraj said he would decide on his stand after speaking to others.
“Situation was such that we submitted our resignations, but now DK Shivakumar and others came and requested us to withdraw resignations. I will speak to K Sudhakar Rao and then see what is to be done. After all, I have spent decades in Congress,” Nagaraj was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Meanwhile, Congress leader DK Shivakumar said Nagaraj had assured them he would be back with the party. “We should live together and die together because we have worked for 40 years for the party. There are ups and downs in every family. We should forget everything and move forward. Happy that MTB Nagaraj has assured us he will stay with us,” news agency ANI quoted Shivakumar as saying.
In a move intended to counter the ongoing rebellion, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy Friday said that he will seek a trust vote in the Assembly.
“It would not be appropriate for me to continue without proving my majority. I am not someone who would like to hang on to my seat if there is a lack of confidence in my government,” he said.
He also asked the Speaker to schedule a confidence motion for July 16, after the hearing in the top court.
Sixteen Congress and JD(S) MLAs have put in their papers since July 1, out of which 14 are being contacted to return to the coalition fold.
If the Speaker accepts the resignations of the 16 rebel MLAs, the coalition’s number in the 224-member House will fall to 101, as compared to BJP’s 105 and the support of two Independents.
There is a possibility of the BJP winning a confidence vote if at least 11 resignations are accepted by the Speaker.