Yeddyurappa goes to Secretariat with daggers drawn, but no one to duel with
The Secretariat witnessed high-voltage drama on Wednesday when thirteen BJP MLAs, loyal to the former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa, made a futile attempt to submit their resignations from the membership of the Legislative Assembly.
The legislators, led by Public Works Minister C.M. Udasi and Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje, who submitted their resignations to their ministries earlier in the day, reached Speaker K.G. Bopaiah’s office in the Vidhana Soudha to tender their resignations.
Neither Mr. Bopaiah nor the Assembly Secretary P. Omprakash was present when the legislators arrived at the Speaker’s office. Irked by their absence, they created a ruckus in front of the Speaker’s office.
After waiting for about an hour, they insisted that any official of the Secretariat should either receive their resignation letters or give an acknowledgement that they are not empowered to receive them.
Mr. Udasi insisted on an acknowledgement, but Joint Secretary Jayatheertha P. Galali said: “As the Joint Secretary, I cannot accept your resignation letter. Please come and submit resignations when the Speaker comes to the office.” As per the norms, MLAs have to personally submit their resignation letters to the Speaker.
Deputy Speaker N. Yogish Bhat, who was not present in the office when the drama took place, told The Hindu that only the Speaker has the authority to accept the resignations of legislators.
Enraged over the development, Mr. Yeddyurappa along with his son, B.Y. Vijendra, rushed to the Secretariat. They spent nearly an hour at the Speaker’s chamber. But all attempts to submit the resignations failed.
A visibly angry Mr. Yeddyurappa told presspersons that “the Jagadish Shettar government has been reduced to a minority. The government has no moral right to continue in office. Mr. Shettar should call off his district tour, return to the city and resign forthwith.”
He also hit out at Mr. Bopaiah, who, he said, had been alerted on Tuesday about the resignation of MLAs, and had left on a tour. “The Chief Minister should meet the Governor and tender resignation of his government,” he added.
Mr. Yeddyurappa claimed there was a constitutional crisis in the State as the Shettar government does not have a majority. He alleged that the Speaker had gone abroad on the directions of the Chief Minister. He also called upon the people of the State to boycott all public functions of the Chief Minister and the Ministers in his Cabinet. “We will tell Governor H.R. Bhardwaj that this government cannot continue in office as it has been reduced to a minority,” he said.
Officials at the Speaker’s office were unaware about the whereabouts of Mr. Bopaiah. Officials at the BJP office in the Secretariat claimed he had left Bangalore on Tuesday night, but they didn’t know where he had gone. Mr. Omprakash went abroad, along with members of the House Committee, about 10 days ago. He is expected to return to Bangalore on Thursday night.
The MLAs who came to the Secretariat to resign were Shobha Karandlaje, C.M. Udasi, Nehru Olekar, G. Shivanna, Chandrappa, Thippeswamy, B.P. Harish, H. Halappa, Suresh Gowda Patil, S.I. Chikkangoudar, Tarikere Suresh, Katakdhond Vittal Dhondiba and Basavaraj Patil Attur.
Later, the legislators, led by Mr. Yeddyurappa, met the Governor and requested him to ask the Speaker to return to Bangalore immediately.