Karnataka crisis: 8 resignations not in order, says Speaker

Congress MLAs staging a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Congress MLAs staging a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Ramesh Kumar to meet 5 MLAs personally; Cong. for disqualification of rebels

In another twist to the political crisis in Karnataka, Speaker K. Ramesh Kumar said on Tuesday that the resignation letters of only five of the 13 legislators from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), were in order.

“These five [letters] are [those] of Anand Singh, Narayana Gowda, Pratap Gouda Patil, Gopalaiah and Ramalinga Reddy,” he said.

“Since the other resignation letters were not in the prescribed format, we have sent them a reminder letter ... if you wish you can submit your resignations properly,” he added.

The other eight legislators, many of whom are not in Bengaluru, are expected to return on Wednesday to re-tender their resignations in the right format.

Baig also quits

Even as the Speaker ruled on the resignations tendered by MLAs of the ruling coalition, veteran politician and suspended Congress legislator, R. Roshan Baig also submitted his resignation, taking the total from both the parties to 14 (three JD(S) and 11 Congress and two Independents).

“Despite the [Assembly] session starting on Friday, I have asked Narayana Gowda, Prathapgouda Patil and Anand Singh to come for a personal hearing while Gopalaiah and Ramalinga Reddy have been asked to appear on July 15 (Monday),” said the Speaker.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar said that Mr. Baig’s resignation is being examined. The Speaker also said that he will hold a public hearing in the light of complaints against resignations from the public reaching his office.

Asked whether the resignations submitted to his office were acceptable, Mr. Kumar earlier hinted that the MLAs might have to personally hand them over, saying ‘“if everything can happen through postal correspondence, I am not required at all”.

The Speaker said he would go by the book and consult seniors about the developments.

“I have to make a conscious decision. Every step I take will become history, so I can’t be committing a mistake. Future generations should not look at me like an accused,” Mr. Kumar added.

A reprieve

The Speaker’s decision could prove a reprieve for the beleaguered coalition partners — Congress and JD(S) — who have stepped up efforts to salvage the government by seeking disqualification of “rebel” legislators.

Soon after the Congress Legislature Party meeting — which 20 legislators did not attend — earlier in the day, a delegation led by CLP leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao submitted a petition to the Speaker seeking the disqualification of 12 “rebel” legislators, excluding seven time MLA Ramalinga Reddy.

The Congress had petitioned the , in a combative mood to protect its flock, stepped up pressure to bring back the rebel Congress legislators by petitioning the Speaker to take up the disqualification process against 12 legislators — excluding 7-time MLA Ramalinga ReddyThe party also resurrected an old disqualification case pending since February against Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli and B. Nagendra against for violating a party whip. Mr. Ramesh Kumar said he would restart the disqualification hearing from July 11 (Thursday) and has asked the Congress to provide evidence against the three.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:41:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-crisis-8-resignations-not-in-order-says-speaker/article28336011.ece

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