Karnataka Political Drama: Rebel MLAs move SC against Speaker, Sec. 144 imposed near Mumbai Hotel
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Karnataka Political Drama: Rebel MLAs move SC against Speaker, Sec. 144 imposed near Mumbai Hotel

July 10, 2019

Bengaluru/Mumbai: With the Karnataka political crisis that was triggered by the resignation of more than a dozen MLAs from the ruling coalition on July 6 entering Day-5, the drama today moved from the alleys of Bengaluru and Mumbai to reach Delhi, the National capital. 

The rebel MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) are  reported to have moved the Supreme Court (SC) this morning against Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar seeking a direction to him to accept their resignations immediately. The matter is likely to come up tomorrow.

This move comes following the advise of former Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who flew to Mumbai last night along with senior BJP leader R. Ashoka, it is learnt.

Senior SC Advocate Mukul Rohatgi is likely to argue on behalf of the rebel MLAs.

The MLAs, who filed the petition, told the Court that Karnataka Assembly Speaker was delaying decision on their resignation as he intends to decide their disqualification on Friday when Assembly Session begins.

They have demanded the Court to restrain the Speaker from deciding their disqualification and take up their resignation first.

The law-makers also told the Supreme Court that their resignation was voluntary and without fear as they were convinced that the administration under Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has come to a standstill and maladministration is writ large on this coalition Government.

Meanwhile, high drama was witnessed outside the Mumbai Hotel as senior Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar (DKS) was stopped from entering the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai where the rebel law-makers are staying. 

On Tuesday night, anticipating Shivakumar’s visit, the MLAs had written to the Police seeking “protection” from the Congress leader. 

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“We cannot allow you to enter because of the letter,” a Mumbai Police officer was heard saying during an argument with Shivakumar, who insisted he had booked a room in the hotel and that his “friends” are staying there.

In a letter addressed to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, the rebel MLAs, who have been camping in Mumbai since Saturday, also said they didn’t want to meet JD(S) leader Shivalingegowda. 

Since Saturday, Karnataka has been thrown into a political crisis with as many as 15 law-makers resigning from their positions. They had checked into Sofitel in the Bandra Kurla Complex on Saturday evening and later moved to the Renaissance Hotel in Powai area.

D.K. Shivakumar, the Congress’ Mr. Fixit in every crisis, found himself up against a seemingly impenetrable wall of Policemen as he tried every possible ruse in his book to enter the five-star hotel.

 Amid slogans of “go back” from protesters hanging off the gates of the Renaissance Hotel, DKS, who drove straight to the hotel from the Mumbai airport, refused to take the hint and camped there.

Section 144 imposed

Section 144, which prohibits assembly of more than four people at one place, has been imposed in Powai Police Station limits with effect from July 9 to July 12 because of “likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquillity.”

D.K. Shivakumar was accompanied by three JD(S) MLAs including G.T. Devegowda and  Shivalingegowda. He was seen standing under a tree for hours waiting to meet the rebel MLAs, who, according to one source, are learnt to have moved out of that Hotel also through the backgates to an undisclosed destination.

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