Claiming he didn’t know the MLAs were coming to meet him, the Speaker said, “You may want to marry the Mysuru Maharani, but does that mean she has to accept?”

11 Cong-JDS MLAs tender resignation but Karnataka Speaker plays hide and seek
news Politics Saturday, July 06, 2019 - 15:09

As crisis brews in the Karnataka government and there are several speculations about what may happen by the end of Saturday, the Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar playing hide and seek. The Speaker is the only person who can accept resignations of elected legislators in the state, and as 11 MLAs from Congress and JD(S) lined up in front of his office on Saturday, Ramesh Kumar made a quick disappearing act. First, he went off to a hospital, and then, speaking to the media, he said he wouldn’t return to his office till Tuesday.

“I did not know that the MLAs were coming to meet me,” Ramesh Kumar – a Congressman – told mediapersons around 3 pm on Saturday, hours after 11 MLAs turned up at his doorstep to tender their resignations. “Did they call me? Did they write to me? Did they tell me they were coming to meet me? Then how am I supposed to know?” he asked, adding, “You may want to marry the Mysuru Maharani, but does that mean she has to accept?”

The Speaker said that a relative of his – a cousin of his wife – was extremely unwell and was at the Jayadeva Hospital. He had therefore gone to meet him on Saturday afternoon, right when the MLAs came to meet him. “I am a farmer and I need to go home on Sunday,” he said, “And there is already a programme for Monday that I need to attend. So I will be back on Tuesday.”

The 11 MLAs who have given resignation letters to the Speaker’s office are JD(S) leaders AH Vishwanath, and Gopaliah Narayana Gowda, and Congress leaders Ramalinga Reddy, Mahesh Kumthalli, BC Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayan Gowda, Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekar, and Pratapgouda Patil. “I have told my office to take their letter,” Ramesh Kumar said.

Ramesh Kumar’s blink-and-miss act seems to be just another part of the ruling coalition’s efforts to bring the disgruntled MLAs back in their fold. Congress troubleshooter and Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar reached the Speaker’s office soon after the rebel MLAs grouped there. He managed to sneak away Ramalinga Reddy, Byrathi Basavaraj, and Somashekar for talks, even as the other MLAs left to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor.

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