Karnataka political crisis updates | Fate of Cong-JD(S) govt hangs in balance as it faces trust vote on July 18

Uneasy: Police security has been stepped up outside Rennaisance hotel, where the rebel Congress MLAs from Karnataka are staying.

Uneasy: Police security has been stepped up outside Rennaisance hotel, where the rebel Congress MLAs from Karnataka are staying.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa welcomes the Supreme Court order terming it "a victory of the Constitution and democracy" and a "moral victory to the rebel MLAs".

The Supreme Court on Wednesday says the 15 dissident Karnataka MLAs cannnot be compelled to participate in House proceedings.

The apex court had on Tuesday taken a swipe at the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine in Karnataka for questioning the court's power to give directions to the Speaker after welcoming the court’s intervention last year.

Meanwhile, the ten rebel MLAs of the ruling coalition on Tuesday said in the SC that their resignations “have to be accepted” as there was no other way to deal with the present political crisis.

Here are the latest updates:

8.15 p.m.

 

Congress leaders speak in different voices

Congress leaders have spoken in divergent voices on the Supreme Court verdict in the Karnataka crisis, with chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala saying it’s a “terrible precedent” but his colleague Abhishek Singhvi claiming victory.

Addressing the official press briefing, Mr. Singhvi said the party has emerged victorious as 90 per cent of its arguments during the trial were accepted by the top court. “We are happy as a political party that we have emerged victorious,” Mr. Singhvi, also a senior lawyer who appeared for the Karnataka Assembly Speaker in the case, told reporters outside Parliament. “I welcome the Supreme Court to have given a decision as per the Constitution and law,” he said accusing the BJP of “spreading misinformation and false propaganda“.

“Ninety per cent of the case argued says the speaker should decide in x number of days. Honourable court says we should not fetter the Speaker in any case. The SC has said the Speaker can decide what he likes, when he likes and hence the Speaker will decide. Where is the question of acting on a whip which has not been issued yet,” he asked.

Mr. Surjewala, however, gave divergent views.

“SC’s order nullifying the whip & by extension, operation of Constitution’s Xth Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent!”

“Tragic that SC didn’t appreciate the context and designed history of defections to subvert democratic mandates by Modi Government over last 5 years. SC should recall own judgement of May 2016 striking down the illegal attempt of BJP in Uttarakhand to form government,” Mr. Surjewala tweeted.

“Blanket protection to MLAs, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard-of,” he said.

 

5 p.m.

Speaker clarified that members have to seek permission for absence, says Krishna Byre Gowda

Continuing to explore legal options before the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition seeks a trust vote on Wednesday, leaders of both the parties had a long discussion with the Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar over the consequences of Supreme Court order .

The party leaders sought clarification from the Speaker whether the members were still bound by the rules of Karnataka Legislative Assembly on the permission required to remain absent from the House, and also the right of the parties to issue whip-both clarification necessitated due to court order.

“Speaker has clarified that the members were bound to adhere to the rules of the Assembly and had to seek permission to remain absent,” Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda told press persons after an hour-long discussion with the Speaker.

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3.30 pm

I am sorry, please return'

With less than a 24 hours to go before the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government faces trust vote on the floor of the Legislative assembly, Public Works Department Minister H.D. Revanna, who has been accused of interfering in decisions beyond his department, on Wednesday appealed to the rebel legislators — now holed up in a hotel in Mumbai — to return.

“I have not hurt any legislator. If I have hurt, I apologise. If I have committed mistake please come back. I am willing to apologise,” he told presspersons in Bengaluru on Wednesday, adding: “I have not intervened in transfers in any other department. My work and influence is restricted to Hassan district and Public Works Department.”

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3 p.m.

Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah, Home Minister M.B. Patil and Industries Minister K.J. George visit Speaker's chamber now.

2. 30 pm

SC order sets a terrible precedent: Congress

“SC’s order nullifying the whip & by extension, operation of Constitution’s Xth Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent!” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

“Blanket protection to MLAs, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard-of,” he said.

He also wondered whether the verdict means the court can interfere with the working of the state legislature by deciding when a whip will be enforced and whether the basic structure doctrine of separation of powers had been abandoned.

“Tragic that SC didn’t appreciate the context & designed history of defections to subvert democratic mandates by Modi government over last five years,” Surjewala said.

He urged the apex court to remember its own judgement of May 2016 striking down the illegal attempt of the BJP in Uttarakhand to form government.

2.20 pm

Expect BJP govt in Karnataka next week: Muralidhar Rao

BJP government is expected to take charge in Karnataka next week, party national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao has claimed.

The coalition government is in “clear minority” and should go, Mr. Rao said, adding, “We will not shy away from our responsibility.”

12:30 pm

 

MLA Khader confident rebels will join government

Minister for Urban Development and the lone Congress MLA from Dakshina Kannada district U.T. Khader says the motion of vote of confidence need not be put for voting on the day it is tabled, that is, on Thursday.

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12:05 pm

Rebel MLAs not to attend Assembly proceedings

Rebel MLAs in Mumbai release a 19 second video which says they will not attend the Legislature on a Thursday. B.C. Patil, in the video, says "We are united."

 

Meanwhile, the official Twitter account of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee tweets, “Operation Kamala will fail. Satyameva Jayate.”

11:30 am

Yeddyurappa welcomes SC order

BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa welcomes the Supreme Court order terming it "a victory of the Constitution and democracy" and a "moral victory to the rebel MLAs".

He says with the Supreme Court clearly saying the rebel MLAs who have resigned cannot be compelled to attend the Assembly Session tomorrow, the Chief Minister has now clearly lost his majority in the House and demands he must resign immediately.

Regarding BJP moving a no confidence motion against assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, Mr. Yeddyurappa says he has great respect for the Speaker and hoped he would act in accordance with the Supreme Court order.

11:15 am

SC has put additional responsibility on me: Ramesh Kumar

Turmoil in House: BJP members staging a protest in the Legislative Council in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Turmoil in House: BJP members staging a protest in the Legislative Council in Bengaluru on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

 

Assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar speaking to media persons soon after the order was released says he welcomes the move. "The Supreme Court by leaving it to my discretion has put an additional responsibility on me. I will abide by the SC order. I am not concerned by which side benefits from my decision. The Assembly will initiate the debate on the trust vote tomorrow, as scheduled," he said.

However, he refuses comment on when he would take a call on the resignations and on disqualification of rebel MLAs.

11:00 am

Rebel MLAs need not participate in House proceedings

The Supreme Court says the 15 dissident Karnataka MLAs cannnot be compelled to participate in House proceedings. They may opt to remain out of the proceedings.

The apex court also rules that the Speaker can decide on the resignations of the 15 MLAs as and when appropriate. His decision, once taken, has to be placed before the Supreme Court, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ruled.

The Bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, says the Speaker’s discretion in deciding the resignation issue of the 15 MLAs should not be fettered by the court’s directions or observations and he should be free to decide the issue.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 12:56:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-political-crisis-live-updates-july-17-2019/article28500173.ece

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