Dramatic scenes unfolded at Vidhana Soudha on Thursday evening as the 10 rebelling MLAs (7 Congress and 3 JD(S)) arrived in Bengaluru to, once again, submit their resignations to Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
Around 5 pm, Speaker Ramesh Kumar reached his Bengaluru office in Vidhana Soudha. However, the rebel MLAs, who took two chartered flights from Mumbai, reached Bengaluru’s HAL airport around 4.40 pm. Notably, Bengaluru is known for its traffic congestion.
Racing to make the 6 p.m. deadline, visuals showed the MLAs barrelling through Bengaluru traffic on a bus. Although the bus, escorted by a police convoy, was initially stuck in traffic, police cleared the route to allow the MLAs to reach the Speaker's office on time.
The MLAs, finally, reached the Vidhana Soudha premises, five minutes past the deadline of 6 pm. Rebel Congress MLA Byrathi Basavaraj sprinted to the Speaker's office. Some MLAs, too, briskly walked to the Speaker’s office, with their resignation letters, along with their respective personal assistants.
The MLAs who entered Speakers office were Ramesh Jarkiholi, Munirathna Naidu, Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekhar, BC Patil, K Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayana Gowda, AH Vishwanath, Prathap Gouda Patil and Mahesh Kumatahalli.
Almost immediately after meeting the Speaker and tendering their resignations, the MLAs were whisked back to HAL Airport to head back to Mumbai.
Congress leaders have been attempting to pacify the MLAs this week. Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar stood outside their hotel in Mumbai earlier this week but the MLAs refused to meet with him and sought police protection.
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court had asked the Speaker to make a decision on the fates of the rebelling MLAs by the end of the day. However, Speaker Ramesh Kumar rejected that instruction and following the MLAs’ departure, he told the media that he had yet to make a decision on the resignations.