Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar during the press conference in Vidhana Soudha on Thursday, July 11, 2019. (ANI Photo)
New Delhi :
Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who is the man of the hour amid the political crisis in Karnataka, is unlikely to accept the resignations of rebel Congress-JDS MLAs anytime soon as he cited rules and regulations during a press conference after meeting the dissident lawmakers in Vidhana Soudha on Thursday.
Kumar, who was ordered by the Supreme Court to meet the rebel lawmakers and deal with their resignation by the end of today, said that he will not take any decision in haste. "MLAs don't communicate to me and rush to the Governor. What can he do? Is it not misuse? They approached the SC. My obligation is to people of this state and Constitution of the country. I am delaying because I love this land. I am not acting in haste," Kumar said.
The Karnataka Speaker also defended his decision to reject the resignations of eight MLAs but added that he was obliged to look into the rest of them. "On Monday, I scrutinized resignations based on rule 202, Karnataka Assembly Rules and Procedures. Eight letters weren't in the prescribed format. In case of the rest, I'm obliged to look if resignations are voluntary and genuine," he said.
He also rejected allegations by the BJP leaders that he ran away from his office on the day the dissident MLAs had come to his office to sumbit their resignations. "On July 6, I was in my chamber till 1.30 pm. The MLAs came there at 2 pm, they didn't even take prior appointment. So, it's untrue that I ran away because they were coming," he said.
Thirteen MLAs -- 10 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) -- submitted their resignation to the Speaker's office on July 6 triggering a fresh political crisis in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state. Another Congress MLA R Roshan Baig resigned on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, in yet another setback to Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka, two more MLAs of the Congress - MTB Nagraj and Dr Sudhakar - submitted their resignations to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. With this, the total number of MLAs who resigned from their post has gone up to 16.
The ruling coalition's total strength is 116 (Congress-78), JD(S)-37 and BSP-1, besides the Speaker. The BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113. However, if the resignations of the rebel MLAs are accepted, the strength of Congress-JDS coalition will fall to 100 and the Kumaraswamy government will come in minority.