Appear Before Speaker At 6 PM: Top Court To 10 Karnataka Rebel Lawmakers

Appear Before Speaker At 6 PM: Top Court To 10 Karnataka Rebel Lawmakers

New Delhi: The 10 Karnataka lawmakers who have alleged that their resignations hadn’t been accepted in an attempt to help the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition, were asked by the Supreme Court to meet the Speaker this evening.
The rebel lawmakers have been asked to appear before Speaker Ramesh Kumar at 6 pm. The court has ordered police protection for them and asked the Speaker to take a decision today, which has to be conveyed to the court.

The lawmakers, who flew from Bengaluru to Mumbai after submitting their resignations on Saturday, have alleged that the Speaker is deliberately sitting on their letters to help the Congress-JDS government.

The Speaker, who says he was not in office when 11 resignation letters came in and examined them only on Tuesday, rejected eight of the letters and asked the lawmakers to meet him on July 17.

Representing the lawmakers, former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the Speaker “has made himself scarce, he is not doing what he is supposed to do.”

Mr. Rohatgi requested the court to enable the lawmakers to appear before the Speaker.

The Karnataka coalition, which came to power in May last year, is on the brink after 18 resignations since last week.

A group of 11 rebel lawmakers resigned on Saturday and four more have quit since then. The Speaker has not accepted any of the letters; if he does, the coalition will instantly dip below the half-way mark and the BJP can flaunt a majority.

But as he received two more resignations on Wednesday, he said the lawmakers should meet him next Wednesday, along with the others.

Despite the breather because of the Speaker’s deadline, a desperate Congress has been unable to coax the rebels back into the fold despite the efforts of its troubleshooter DK Shivakumar.

The 10 rebels who went to the Supreme Court yesterday are staying at a five-star hotel in Mumbai. Seeking more security, they refused to meet Mr. Shivakumar, who was stopped by the Mumbai police from entering the hotel.