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Friday, July 03, 2020

Karnataka floor test: Speaker to seek legal advice on whip issue

The Speaker sought time to obtain legal advice after Congress leader Siddaramaiah moved a point of order saying powers of political parties to control their legislators would be affected.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Updated: July 18, 2019 3:27:05 pm
karnataka crisis, karnataka mlas resign, ramesh kumar, karnataka speaker, who is ramesh kumar, who is karnataka speaker, karnataka news Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. (Source: PTI/File)

Discussions on the motion seeking a trust vote moved by Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru was adjourned Thursday after Speaker K R Ramesh sought time to seek legal advice on the issue of whip imposed by Congress and JD(S) to rebel MLAs.

In the light of the Supreme Court order issued on July 17 which barred the dissenting MLAs from being compelled to attend the trust vote, the Speaker seeks to consult the state advocate general if the whip issued to the MLAs will be valid or not.

The Speaker sought time to obtain legal advice after Congress leader Siddaramaiah moved a point of order saying powers of political parties to control their legislators – as provided by the 10th Schedule of the constitution (anti-defection law) would be affected if the SC order is interpreted as barring issuance of the whip to the 15 rebel MLAs.

“Please decide on whether they are members or not — without deciding it is not correct to go ahead with the trust vote,” Congress law minister Krishna Byregowda said. Follow Karnataka floor test LIVE

“I am worried because I am a respondent and I am the one who will have to make a decision on the whip violation,” the Speaker said.

After the house was adjourned for the afternoon, BJP members suggested that the coalition, whose numbers had dwindled from 117 to 106, were trying to stall for time to bring back rebels.

The coalition saw one of its MLAs return thus reducing the number of rebels from 16 to 15. Senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy returned to the party and attended the session Thursday.

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