In a massive pushback to the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government, the rebel MLAs camped in the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai, on Wednesday have approached the Supreme Court accusing the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar of abandoning his constitutional duty and delaying acceptance of their resignations.
As per sources, top Supreme Court Advocate Mukul Rohatgi will appear for rebel Congress-JDS MLAs against the Karnataka Speaker. Source further report that in the plea filed before the CJI Ranjan Gogoi, the Speaker is accused of having malafide intent of trying to save minority Congress-JD(S) government in the state.
In response to the rebel MLAs' plea, the apex court has taken note of their submission and has said that it will see whether their pleas can be listed on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Congress leader D K Shivakumar has reached Mumbai and is currently camping outside the Rennaisance hotel, after being denied entry into the hotel by the Mumbai Police. In contrast, the rebel MLAs have denied to meet Shivakumar and have approached the police fearing threat to their lives.
As per the latest reports, Mumbai police has imposed Section 144, which prohibits an assembly of more than 4 people in an area in Powai Police station limits with effect from July 9 to July 12 (both dates inclusive) because of "likelihood of breach of peace & disturbance of public tranquility", as protestors continue to crowd in front of the Renaissance hotel.
Slamming the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra of indulging in anti-democratic activities, Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal, in Bengaluru has said that the Mumbai Police is blocking Shivakumar from entering and that they are acting at the behest of the Maharashtra government.
Venugopal added that Shivakumar had booked a room in the same hotel and his every right to visit the MLAs. Curiously, the hotel authorities have cancelled Shivakmar's booking stating 'emergency reasons'.
Earlier in the day, as Shivakumar arrived in Powai, he was greeted by protestors supporting rebel MLA Narayan Gowda, chanting 'Shivakumar, go back.' Shivakumar was escorted back by the police.
In Karnataka, BJP is staging a massive protest against the Karnataka Speaker for delaying the acceptance of the MLAs' resignation while demanding Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy's resignation as he has lost the numbers to maintain a ruling government.
On Tuesday, amidst the relocation of the current MLAs to resorts to curb defection, the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had said that of the 13 resignations he had received, 8 are not filed according to the law. He added that he had given time to the rebel MLAs to present themselves before him, as he had written to the Governor that none of the rebel MLAs have met him in person.
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