As Karnataka Speaker Seeks Time to Examine Resignations, Rebel MLAs Whisked Back to Mumbai

Ramesh Kumar said the resignations have now been submitted in the "right format", but he needed time to see if they are voluntary.

New Delhi: After rebel MLAs appeared before him on Thursday evening, Karnataka assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar said he needs to examine if the resignations that they submitted are “voluntary or genuine”.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Kumar said the resignations have now been submitted in the “right format”, but that he needed time to examine them.

“The MLAs had come, they said they want to resign, I said they can give. They asked me to accept it. I will have to see whether it is genuine or voluntary and be convinced,” Kumar said.

Asserting he will abide by rules, the speaker said he will take a “just decision which may be of convenience to some and inconvenience to some”.

Meanwhile, the MLAs have been rushed back to Mumbai, where they have been camping since they tendered their resignations.

The proceedings of the meeting were recorded on video and will be sent to the Supreme Court registrar general, Kumar informed. “The Supreme Court asked me to come to a decision. I have written to them the word “forthwith” they have said, I am unable to understand – what to decide, as Constitution says something else, so I have given them (MLAs) time (to appear before me),” he said.

Kumar also insisted that he was neither responsible for the current political situation nor its outcome.

Rebel Karnataka MLAs arrive at vidhan soudha. Photo: PTI

As many as ten Karnataka rebel MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, arrived in Bengaluru by two special flights, hours after the Supreme Court allowed them to meet the assembly speaker to convey their decision to resign.

According to The News Minute, the MLAs who entered the speaker’s office were Ramesh Jarkiholi, Munirathna Naidu, Byrathi Basavaraj, S.T. Somashekhar, B.C. Patil, K. Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayana Gowda, A.H. Vishwanath, Prathap Gouda Patil and Mahesh Kumatahalli.

The MLAs boarded a luxury bus from the HAL airport and proceeded towards the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.

Immediately after meeting the speaker and submitting their resignations in the “correct format”, the MLAs were whisked back to the HAL airport to head back to Mumbai.

Also Read: As Speaker Pleads Inability to Decide on Rebel MLAs’ Resignation, Uncertainty Greets SC Order

The top court earlier asked the speaker to decide “forthwith” on Thursday about the resignation of ten rebel Congress-JD(S) coalition MLAs, allowing them to meet him at 6 pm.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the decision taken by the speaker has to be intimated on Friday, when the court takes up the matter again.

The resignation of 16 MLAs (13 from Congress and three from JDS) has pushed the coalition government to the brink of collapse. Two independent MLAs have also withdrawn support to the coalition government.

(With PTI inputs)