Resuming office on Tuesday, amidst the crisis rocking the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, Speaker K.R Ramesh Kumar, who has been absent from his office since Saturday has said that he will read the resignation letters submitted to his office and will act accordingly, upholding the Constitution. He added that there was no preferential treatment adding that he was under no pressure to decide either way.
"I had informed well in advance that I will not be there on Monday and will come on Tuesday. If anyone has a suspicion, I can't help them. The job of my staff is to accept the (resignation) letters and acknowledge it. I will look at what is written. These rebels are not my relatives, I am not under any pressure," he said, speaking to reporters at the Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru.
Earlier on Saturday, the Speaker's office has confirmed that 11 letters of resignations have been received while adding that Kumar would be available in his office only on Tuesday as he has a prior appointment on Monday, as per sources. Earlier in the day, after citing health reasons, Kumar left from his Speaker's chambers after three JD(S) and five Congress MLAs had initially handed over their resignation to the state Assembly Speaker K. R. Ramesh Kumar in Bengaluru.
In a desperate attempt to save the fractured JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, the grand old party has held a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 AM in the state capital after 13 MLAs resigned from their posts on Saturday.
Earlier on Monday, the rebel MLAs including 10 of Congress, two of JD(S) and two Independents, left for Goa in the evening and were being accompanied by Mohit Bhartiya, president of the Mumbai BJP Yuva Morcha, sources said.
Fearing more resignations, JD(S) has reportedly moved all its MLAs to a Bengaluru resort to prevent more defections from the party on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Congress has urged the Speaker to accept resignations of 13 Congress-JD(S) legislators, alleging that rules have not been followed during its submission. Congress requested Speaker Ramesh Kumar to take a final decision only after holding a separate inquiry with MLAs and to hold hearings to gather the public opinion of the constituency they represent.
On Saturday, 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs had resigned including 1 Independent. The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength came down to 117 after (Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP-1 and Independents-1) after Nagesh withdrew his support from the government, besides the Speaker.
If the resignations of the 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs are accepted by the Speaker, the Congress-JD(S) coalition’s numbers will come down to 104, besides the vote of the Speaker. If the Speaker accepts the 13 resignations, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly will come down to 212 out of 225, which will leave the half-way mark to 106. As the saffron party has 107 MLAs in its support now, it can call a trust vote and form a government in the state