Karnataka Political Drama: Meet Speaker by 6 pm: Apex Court tells rebel MLAs
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Karnataka Political Drama: Meet Speaker by 6 pm: Apex Court tells rebel MLAs

July 11, 2019
  • Speaker moves SC on 6 pm order; Court rejects early hearing
  • Governor shoots off letter to Speaker on resignations 
  • CM Kumaraswamy cites 2009 BJP case; refuses to quit
  • Rebel MLAs fly from Mumbai to meet SC deadline

Bengaluru: The ‘Nataka’ in Karnataka politics that began on July 6 continued today providing wholesome entertainment to people, if not governance. The political test match between the Coalition Government and the Opposition BJP — which is waiting with bated breath to occupy the Treasury Benches in the Assembly — has reached the last over with no runs yet. 

Today the battle that so far was being fought in Bengaluru and Mumbai shifted to New Delhi as the Supreme Court directed the rebel MLAs to meet Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar at his office by 6 pm today. The Apex Court has asked the Speaker to grant an audience to all rebel MLAs at once at the said time.

In another interesting development, Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala has dashed off a letter to the Speaker. Though the contents of the letter have been kept under wraps, sources said that the Governor has asked the Speaker to decide on the resignations as the Legislature Session starts tomorrow. The Governor has rejected the Congress demand of postponing the Session to a later date so that it will give them time to coax and cajole the rebel MLAs. 

Rebels start from Mumbai

The rebel MLAs have started from Mumbai in a special flight to Bengaluru and are expected to reach the State Capital by 4.30 pm. In their plea before the Supreme Court, the rebels had alleged that the Speaker had refused to meet them all together, further delaying the resignation acceptance process. 

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The Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has asked the Speaker to inform the Court of the developments by tomorrow (Friday) morning, when the Court will resume hearing on rebel MLAs’ plea. Latest reports from Mumbai said that the MLAs will take charter flight at 2 pm and land at HAL Airport. 

Speaker petitions SC

Former Advocate General Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the rebels in the Supreme Court, urged the Court to issue orders to DGP Mumbai to provide security for the MLAs due to “drama  going on outside hotel”. 

Mukul Rohatgi has requested for security during transportation from hotel to the airport and then from airport in Bengaluru to the Speaker’s office. The Supreme Court then asked the Karnataka Director General of Police to grant security to MLAs when they reach Bengaluru. 

Following the SC directive, the Speaker has petitioned the Court and said that the Apex Court cannot direct him on deciding about the MLAs resignations by 6 pm. A deadline of 6 pm is not enough and it has to be extended till midnight, the Speaker submitted. The Supreme Court, however, has refused to hear the Speaker’s petition. 

CM holds Cabinet meeting: As Karnataka is simmering with high-intensity political tension, a big question mark dangles over the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s fate. Even as cries of horse-trading by the BJP is being raised are echoing loud in the corridors of the Vidhana Soudha, the State BJP, headed by B.S. Yeddyurappa is holding a Legislature Party meeting inside Vidhana Soudha at 4.30 pm to coincide with the arrival of the rebel MLAs. 

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Earlier, the BJP Legislature Party was supposed to meet at the party office in Malleswaram and it was shifted to Vidhana Soudha as the rebel MLAs also will arrive at the Soudha to meet the Speaker.

Major developments are underway in Bengaluru as a Cabinet meeting was held by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy this morning along with officials as all his Ministers have resigned. The latest development has Bengaluru on the edge and City Police Commissioner Alok Kumar has issued prohibitory orders within the two-kilometre area around the Vidhana Soudha.

Kumaraswamy rules out resignation: Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy has ruled out tendering his resignation even as 16 MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition have quit and two Independents have withdrawn support. “Why should I resign? What is the necessity for me to resign?” he said, talking to reporters at the Kumara Krupa Guest House in Bengaluru where he held talks with leaders of the Congress. 

He pointed out that a similar crisis existed when Yeddyurappa was the CM in 2009. “Then, 18 MLAs, including 8 Ministers, opposed him. Ultimately, what happened?” he said rhetorically, meaning even Yeddyurappa had not resigned. But inside sources told Star of Mysore that as the Government has reduced to minority, the CM might make a speech in the Session tomorrow and submit his resignation or in worst case scenario, the Governor might ask him to quit. 

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