Dissenting MLAs seek 4 weeks time from Karnataka Speaker

Bengaluru: The JDS Congress coalition party filed a petition under Schedule-10 of the Constitution seeking disqualification of the 15 rebel MLAs, and they were asked to appear before the Speaker today.

However, the MLAs said that they were not in receipt of the copy of the petition or the documents annexed to it and that they needed at least seven days time to present their case before Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. 

The MLAs have said to have reached the Speaker through six of their advocates. 13 of the dissenting MLAs are camping in a hotel in Mumbai.

The MLAs in their letter cited the case of Balchandra L Jarkiholi versus B S Yeddyurappa in 2011, and requested the speaker to grant them four weeks’ time.

After rebel MLAs gave in their resignation, the coalition government was hanging by a thread. The row intensified after Supreme Court issued a verdict saying that rebel legislators cannot be compelled to attend the Assembly session, but they skipped the Assembly proceedings. The coalition sought the disqualification of the MLAs under the anti-defection law. Congress chief Siddaramaiah said in the assembly during the motion of confidence that the party will not take the rebels back and Kumaraswamy said his party will not welcome the three dissident JDS MLAs.

Following this, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy moved confidence motion and lost yesterday.  as the legislators did not turn up. PTI quoted V S Ugrappa, a lawyer and a Congress leader, as saying, “We have appealed to the speaker that those members who remained absent during the vote of confidence should be disqualified immediately. The speaker has reserved his order. We have quoted various decisions and the provisions of the constitution.”

NT Bureau