Karnataka turmoil: two trust votes in 10 days

What about our right to issue whip, ask Congress, JD(S) leaders

CLP leader Siddaramaiah, along with Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and others, after a discussion with the Speaker on Wednesday.

CLP leader Siddaramaiah, along with Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and others, after a discussion with the Speaker on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Supreme Court direction indirectly infringes on our rights: Krishna Byre Gowda

Hours after the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave rebel MLAs of Karnataka freedom to opt out of the ongoing Legislative Assembly session, leaders of the Janata Dal (Secular)–Congress coalition knocked on the door of the Speaker to seek a clarification on whether a whip could be issued and if it would hold water.

Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda told reporters after a meeting with Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar here, “The direction indirectly infringes on our rights. Parties have the right to issue a whip, and by allowing the choice to attend the session, it [the order] indirectly restricts rights given to the legislative parties in the Tenth Schedule.”

He said that no opportunity was given to them to argue their case and they were not made respondents. Mr. Gowda said both the Congress and the JD(S) had sought clarification from the Speaker on this issue. However, the Speaker had refused to provide any clarification at this point of time, added the Minister.

“The Speaker said if the parties, using their rights, issue a whip and if it is violated, we could approach him as per the Tenth Schedule. He said he will inquire about it and that he will give his decision,” said the Minister.

On Wednesday, top leadership of the coalition, including Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and chairman of the coordination committee Siddaramaiah, met the Speaker, seeking clarification on and consequence of the Supreme Court order.

The parties also sought a clarification as to whether a member could be absent without seeking leave of absence. Mr. Gowda said that the Speaker clarified that as per the Karnataka Legislative Assembly rules, members have to seek leave of absence. “While they are exempt from participating from the House proceedings, if they choose to stay away from the House, they have to adhere to the rules,” he said.

Sources in the Legislative Assembly Secretariat said the members have to seek permission from the Speaker for any absence. “However, they can send a letter to the Speaker informing about their inability to attend the session. They need not be present personally,” said the source.

JD(S) issues whip

Late on Wednesday, however, the JD(S) issued whip to its MLAs asking them to be present in the House till the voting on the trust motion. It issued a separate whip to rebel MLAs K. Gopalaiah, A.H. Vishwanath and K.C. Narayana Gowda. It said action would be initiated under the anti-defection law against those who vote against the motion.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 8:47:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/what-about-our-right-to-issue-whip-ask-congress-jds-leaders/article28530623.ece

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