Friday, 19 July, 2019

Three ex-Congress MLAs, one from BJP likely to join Goa Cabinet

Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2019, 14:20

In the wake of HD Kumaraswamy deciding to seek a trust vote, Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar Friday said a slot would be allotted whenever the Karnataka Chief Minister opted for it.

Referring to constitutional provisions, Rohatgi said legislative and other businesses conducted by the speaker in the house are immune from judicial scrutiny but the issue of resignations are not.

Chief Minister Pinarayi was slamming the defection of 10 Congress leaders to the BJP in Goa and the resignations of 18 Cong-JD (S) MLAs in Karnataka. "The Supreme Court asked me to come to a decision".

The bench asked if the speaker had the power to challenge the Supreme Court's order.

"I am constitutionally obligated to decide on the plea for disqualification of MLAs also", Singhvi said. "If he can't decide on resignations, then it is a brazen case of contempt". "You can not put your ego before him (Pramod Sawant) or say if you do not do my work I will throw the government".

Congress leader and Karnataka Irrigation Minister D K Shivakumar, who is back in Bengaluru after a failed trip to Mumbai to meet and placate the rebel MLAs staying there, expressed his optimism that "good sense will prevail" and the dissidents will withdraw their resignations.

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Dhavan also added that the Speaker had to conduct an enquiry to ascertain that the resignations were genuine and voluntary.

The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being a year ago after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs - 13 of the Congress and three of the JD (S) - resigning from the Assembly.

Asserting he will abide by rules, the speaker said he will take a "just decision which may be of convenience to some and inconvenience to some". Also to be considered would be the question whether in a situation where resignations by MLAs and disqualification proceedings are pending against the same MLAs, the Speaker is obligated under the Constitution to decide the disqualification issue in the first instance.

The Speaker submitted that the rebel MLAs who have approached the apex court have cast aspersions questioning his integrity which are completely "false and frivolous". The four rebels - Byrathi Basavraj, S.T. Somashekar, Shivaram Hebbar and B.C. Patil - visited the Siddhivinayak temple in the city Friday morning.

In Karnataka, 16 MLAs from the JD (S) Congress ruling coalition and two independent MLAs submitted their resignations to the Speaker last week.

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