July 17, 2019
A fortnight ago, two Congress MLAs from Karnataka, Anand Singh, and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned citing differences with the current HD Kumaraswamy govt which is an alliance between JDS and Congress. The barely year-old alliance seemed to be under threat and was the first sign that not all was well in the alliance. Five days later, on July 6, 8 Congress and three JDS MLAs submitted their resignations to the Speaker of Karnataka Assembly. A total of 14 resignations were said to have received including two independents.
After meeting with the Governor Vajubhai Vala, the MLAs left for Mumbai in a chartered plane and have since then been camped in a five-star hotel there. It is said that the chartered plane used by the MLAs belonged to a company associated with a BJP Rajya Sabha MP. The drama continued and intensified when Speaker Ramesh Kumar said that eight resignations were not in order and said that if they wish to resign then resignations must reach him in a proper manner.
Even as this drama was unfolding, another act began to unravel in Mumbai when DK Shivakumar, a senior Congress member, and minister reached Mumbai to meet the rebel MLAs. however, he was apprehended by the Mumbai Police to whom the rebel MLAs had written to ask for security. Meanwhile, the rebel MLAs wrote to the Supreme Court to challenge the Speaker’s decision of declaring their resignations invalid.
Today morning, the Supreme Court decided that the Karnataka Speaker is free to decide on the status of rebel lawmakers whose resignations endanger the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition. “The discretion of the Speaker should not be fettered by any direction from the court. The Speaker can decide on the resignations as and when he feels appropriate," the top court said but added that his decision should be submitted to the court.
The court also said the rebel lawmakers should not be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the state assembly. This means the government cannot use whips to force the dissident lawmakers to participate in the trust vote on Thursday.
The court said: “We have to maintain constitutional balance."
Last night, The Suno India Show reached out to senior journalist from Bangalore Vasanthi Hariprakash to understand what tomorrow’s floor test in Karnataka Assembly means for the people of the State and what led to the high drama yet again in the State.