Karnataka crisis: Rebel MLAs file petition in SC

Bengaluru: Karnataka rebel Congress and JD(S) leaders who have resigned from Assembly, move Supreme Court accusing the Speaker of abandoning his constitutional duty and deliberately delaying acceptance of their resignations. Supreme Court will hear the matter tomorrow.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and state minister DK Shivakumar arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday in a bid to pacify the disgruntled ruling MLAs. However, ahead of his arrival in Mumbai, the ten rebel MLAs, residing at a hotel here, wrote a letter to Mumbai Police seeking security cover.

In their letter to the Mumbai Police, the legislators have claimed that they feel threatened by the thought that Shivakumar may storm into the hotel they are residing in.

Among the MLAs who have signed the letter are Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, BC Patil, ST Somshekar, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavraj, Gopalaiyya, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali. In view of their request, the Mumbai Police tightened the security outside the Renaissance hotel and said that no one would be allowed to meet the dissident MLAs.

Meanwhile, the BJP in Karnataka staged a ‘dharna’ at the Vidhana Soudha demanding the resignation of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who they claim has lost majority in the House after the resignation of 14 MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance.

Several state BJP leaders, including former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa, took part in the protest led by state President B S Yeddyurappa in front of the Gandhi statue at the Vidhana Soudha. Protesters raised slogans like “Down, down to the government that has lost majority… down, down to CM who wants to stick on to the chair.”

Yeddyurappa has been holding a series of meetings with party leaders for the last couple of days regarding the ongoing political developments and BJP’s plan of action.

BJP’s protest comes a day after Congress leaders, including AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah, staged a ‘dharna’ in front of the Gandhi statue, accusing the saffron party of trying to destabilise’ the state government by “undemocratic” means, using money and political power.

In a blow to the Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) government, the number of coalition MLAs who have resigned rose to 14, with the addition of R Roshan Baig Tuesday. Of the 14 MLAs, 11 are from Congress and three from JD(S).