Five more Karnataka Congress rebel legislators are set to move the Supreme Court seeking a direction to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignations.
The petitions of MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote) and Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar) were prepared by Bengaluru-based advocate HH Nagaraj and will be filed in the apex court on Monday. The petitions of three other rebel MLAs - Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), Munirathna (RR Nagar) and K.Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura) were prepared by another advocate.
This will mean that seven-time Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy is the only rebel MLA who is not filing a petition in the Supreme Court asking the Speaker to accept his resignation.
The development comes even as MTB Nagaraj held discussions with Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah on Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Nagaraj hinted that he might reconsider his decision to resign from the Assembly.
Anand Singh resigned on July 1, Munirathna on July 6, Roshan Baig on July 9 and Nagaraj and Sudhakar on July 10.
Following Sudhakar's resignation, he was mobbed by Congress leaders including Priyank Kharge and Dinesh Gundu Rao, when he was leaving the Vidhana Soudha. Sudhakar held a two-hour long meeting inside the office of KJ George as chaos erupted in the state secretariat building.
Nagaraj, meanwhile was the Housing Minister in the 13-month-old Congress-Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) coalition government. He was made a minister on December 22 when the Cabinet was reshuffled and expanded.
Ten rebel legislators, including seven from the Congress and three from the JD(S), had earlier petitioned the top court on July 10 for its intervention in expediting the acceptance of their resignations by the Speaker.
Though a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, directed the Speaker to allow the 10 rebels to resubmit their resignations and decide on them on Thursday, it ordered the latter on Friday to maintain status quo till Tuesday when the case will be taken up for further hearing.
The Speaker sought more time from the apex court in deciding on the resignations as the ruling allies have petitioned him to disqualify two of the MLAs - Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli - for defying their whip and alleged anti-party activities. The ten rebel MLAs are currently in Shirdi visiting a temple.
In a related development, Independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh, who resigned as ministers on July 8 and withdrew their support to the coalition government, wrote to the Speaker to arrange their seats in the Opposition benches in the Assembly when they attend its Monsoon Session from Monday.
Shankar was elected as a contestant of the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janata Party (KPJP) and was asked in June to merge his party with the Congress. However, sources in the Speaker's office told TNM that Shankar is still an independent and not a part of the Congress as the party is yet to submit paperwork to complete the merger.
(With IANS inputs)