In a tit-for-tat strategy, two ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs submitted a petition to Legislative Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah seeking disqualification of 12 rebel party MLAs, loyal to the former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) chief B.S. Yeddyurappa, from membership of the legislative assembly for “anti-party” activities.
The petition signed by two ruling party MLAs - Beluru Gopalakrishna and M.V. Nagaraju - was submitted to Legislative Assembly Secretary P. Omprakasha. Speaker K.G. Bopaiah was not present in the office.
BJP MLAs S. Raghu and Bagali Sarvabhoma Satagouda were present when the petition was submitted to the Speaker.
The MLAs alleged that rebel legislators indulged in anti-party activities by participating in a KJP convention in Haveri in December 9, 2012 and a core committee meeting of that party in Bangalore on January 4, 2013. Documents on their “anti-party” activities were also submitted along with the petition.
Two MLAs - Thippeswamy and Vittala Katakadonda (who were part of the 13 MLAs who wanted to resign) - did not figure in the list of 12 MLAs submitted to the Speaker’s office. But the name of former Minister Sunil Valyapure, was included. Mr Valapure participated in the Haveri function of the KJP. Mr. Thippeswamy and Mr. Katakadonda have now agreed to stay with the BJP, Mr Gopalakrishna claimed.
On October 10, 2010, the Speaker disqualified 16 MLAs, including Mr Gopalakrishna and Bagali Sarvabhoma Satagouda, and barred them from participating in the trial of strength of the BJP government headed by Mr Yeddyurappa. Later, the Supreme Court revoked their disqualification.
Mr Gopalakrishna urged the Speaker to go through their petition first before taking a decision on accepting the resignation of 13 rebel legislators. For toppling the Jagadish Shettar government, Mr Yeddyurappa put pressure on MLAs to resign, he alleged.
Last Wednesday, 13 BJP MLAs loyal to Mr Yeddyurappa went to the Speaker’s office to submit their resignations from the Assembly but in vain as Mr Bopaiah was out of station. Later, MLAs and Mr Yeddyurappa had gone in a delegation to Raj Bhavan and submitted copies of their resignation to Governor H R Bhardwaj. They requested the Governor to ensure that their resignations are accepted by the Speaker.
Sources in the State secretariat said the Speaker is likely to visit the office on Tuesday and expected to take the decision on resignation of the 13 rebel MLAs.
The Governor, however, on Saturday said there was no constitutional crisis in the State and that he had not asked the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the House. The Governor said he would address a joint session of the legislature on February 4.