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Karnataka crisis: Should I have worked at lightning speed?, says speaker after meeting…

The 11 rebel legislators from the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) met Karnataka assembly speaker K.R.Ramesh Kumar on Thursday and resubmitted their resignations.

In a press conference held after the meeting, the Speaker Ramesh Kumar said he was hurt by claims that he was delaying taking a decision on the resignations, as the fault lied with the MLAs who had turned up at his office without an appointment at 2 pm– half an hour after he had left– on July 6.

“On July 6, I was in my chamber till 1.30 pm. The MLAs came there at 2 pm and didn’t even take prior appointment. So, it’s untrue that I ran away because they were coming.”

“In the whole episode, my job is not to save or remove people,” he said while claiming that he was acting in accordance to the Constitution and following due process and is not required to decide the resignations at ‘lightning speed.’

“Should I have worked at lightening speed? For whose sake? What about the rules, the people? I only love the Constitution,” he said.

The legislators, holed up in a plush Mumbai hotel since Saturday, returned to Bengaluru on a special aircraft and were brought to Vidhana Soudha amid heavy security earlier for the appointed meeting with the Speaker.

Ramesh Jarkiholi, K.Gopalaiah, Narayan Gowda, Shivaram Hebbar, Byrathi Basavaraj, B.C.Patil, S.T.Somashekar, Mahesh Kumathalli, Pratap Gouda Patil, Muniratha and A.H.Vishwanath arrived a few minutes past six on Wedneaday–the time stated by the Supreme Court.

The legislators were forced to come to Bengaluru after some of their resignations has to be re-submitted as it was not in the prescribed format.

The legislators had approached SC on Thursday stating that the speaker should accept their resignations.

Supreme Court on Thursday passed an order directing the rebel MLAs to meet the Speaker at 6 PM today to submit their resignations. The court has requested the Speaker to take a decision on their resignations during the course of the day.

The matter will be again heard tomorrow.

The current crisis began on Saturday when 12 legislators – nine from Congress and three from JD(S) — quit their positions. Anand Singh, a rebel Congress lawmaker had resigned earlier in the week. Despite frenetic efforts by the coalition, two independents withdrew support on Monday, and one more suspended Congress MLA resigned on Tuesday. The situation worsened further when two more lawmakers quit on Wednesday.

If speaker Ramesh Kumar accepts the 14 resignation letters on his table, it would bring down the strength of the 224-member assembly (excluding one nominated MLA) to 110, and the majority mark to 106. The ruling coalition would be reduced to a minority with just 103 legislators as against the BJP’s 105. With support from the 2 independent lawmakers who switched sides, the BJP would be in a majority.

First Published:
Jul 11, 2019 19:23 IST

Source: HindustanTimes