Karnataka crisis: Speaker to meet three rebel Congress MLAs on Friday, BJP asks party legislators to attend Assembly session

Ten dissident MLAs had met Kumar on Thursday evening after they were directed by the Supreme Court to meet the Speaker and resubmit their resignations in person.

Published: 12th July 2019 11:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 12:50 PM   |  A+A-

Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar Address Media at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Thursday. | (Vinod Kumar T | EPS)


BENGALURU:: In a fresh turn of events in Karnataka, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar has agreed to meet on Friday three of the five rebel Congress MLAs, who have tendered their resignations in the "prescribed" format.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at 4 pm.

Ten dissident MLAs had met Kumar on Thursday evening after they were directed by the Supreme Court to meet the Speaker and resubmit their resignations in person.

READ MORE | Karnataka crisis: Will fight till the very end, says Congress-JDS coalition government

Following the meeting with the MLAs, the Speaker had said that he will consider "to his satisfaction" whether the resignations were genuine and voluntary before taking a decision.

Talking to the media Kumar dismissed the charge that he was delaying a decision on these resignations to help the government which has allegedly lost its majority.

READ MORE | Karnataka crisis: Will Congress-JDS coalition government weather the Budget session storm?

"I need to examine these resignations (of rebel MLAs) all night and ascertain if they are genuine. The Supreme Court has asked me to take a decision. I have video-graphed everything and I will send it to the Supreme Court," said Kumar.

The 13-month-old Congress-JD(S) government had earlier this month slumped into crisis following the resignation of 10 MLAs. 

The Budget session of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly also starts on Friday and promises to be a chaotic one with both the ruling Congress-JDS coalition and opposition BJP all set to lock horns.

The BJP will press for the resignation of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, and take the coalition to task over several issues, including the prevailing drought situation. The Congress-JDS leadership is also preparing to face off with the BJP on the floor of the House and get the finance bill passed. 

If the CM fails to win back the rebel MLAs, it may result in the curtains coming down on the 13-month-old government. Kumaraswamy may also take the emotional route, preferring to go down as a martyr while addressing the rebels and the opposition in the House.

The state BJP all set to issue whip to its MLAs to attend the session.

"We will give a whip to attend the session from today to the end of this month," said party's state president and former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa. 

Another likely scenario is him turning the rebels into villains who stabbed him in the back and might hit out at the BJP for their consistent effort in trying to destabilize the government. State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa is likely to demand for HDK to resign along with the rebel MLAs.

Kumaraswamy will also claim that his government as done its best for the welfare of farmers, by bringing up the loan waivers he announced in his first Budget. He might also punish those who brought down the pro-farmer government by projecting himself as a crusader who fought for the welfare of farmers.

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Though the main focus in the House is to pass the Finance Bill, the BJP may create trouble and stall proceedings. Meanwhile, the Congress-JDS camp has come out with a strong counterattack against the BJP and seek a vote of confidence if directed by the governor.

The Kumaraswamy government feel that they have an advantage as the Speaker has not yet accepted resignation letters of the MLAs, which may result in the rebels being forced to fall in line.

However, in the case of a further delay by the Speaker in accepting resignations, the BJP is hoping that the governor may intervene, asking Kumaraswamy to prove his majority, since the rebels had submitted a copy of the letters to him too.

Meanwhile, security in and around Vidhana Soudha has been beefed up following the protests that were seen on Wednesday.

(With ENS Inputs)

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