Four rebel Congress MLAs have responded to notices: Speaker

Bengaluru: Four rebel Congress MLAs in Karnataka responded to notices issued by the Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar yesterday.

Speaking to reporters, Kumar said he would give a verdict after hearing both sides. “Hearings need to happen in accordance with the law, for it (case) to be decided.” According to media reports, the hearing is scheduled for 12 March.

Congress Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met the Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar and gave him a letter along with supporting documents to disqualify four rebel MLAs under the Anti-Defection law.

Referring to rebel MLA Umesh Jadhav quitting his assembly membership, the Speaker said the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business book were clear on how to deal with a resignation. Also the the Constitution and 10th schedule (anti-defection law) are clear on the matter, he said. “…We have sought some clarification, we have written a letter to him (Jadhav)…to which he will need to give us an explanation,” he added.

Jadhav had on Monday had submitted his resignation to the Speaker and subsequently joined BJP on March 6 at Prime Minister Narendra Modis rally in Kalburgi, from where he is is tipped to be the saffron partys candidate for Lok Sabha polls, against Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge.

The four MLAs, Ramesh JarkiholiUmesh Jadhav, Mahesh Kumathali and B Nagendra, have been charged with being defiant and for skipping the assembly session and legislature party meetings.

However, the four MLAs subsequently attended the session and voted in favour of the finance bill, with an intention not to violate the whip and avoid any stringent action.

NT Bureau