Politics
The Speaker will now have to abide by the apex court’s order earlier in the day, to decide on the resignation of the rebel MLAs by midnight.

In continuance with the hectic parleys regarding the political crisis in Bengaluru, the Supreme Court refused to hear an urgent petition filed by Karnataka Speaker KR Rakesh Kumar on Thursday afternoon. However, the top court said that the Ramesh Kumar’s plea will be heard along with the plea of the 10 rebel MLAs.

Ramesh Kumar approached the apex court to seek more time and vacate the SC order directing him to decide on resignations of 10 rebel MLAs forthwith, and latest by 12 midnight, after they appear before him at 6 pm.

The Speaker also said he is also seized of the disqualification proceedings initiated against the rebel MLAs and that too takes time available with him, which makes it difficult to forthwith decide the voluntary nature of resignations that would require a proper inquiry.

With this, the 10 rebel MLAs of the ruling coalition will continue with their journey back to Bengaluru on a chartered flight from Mumbai. They will appear before the Speaker and make themselves heard at 6 pm as directed by the SC earlier in the day.

The top court has ordered the Speaker to grant them an audience where they will be able to present their resignations. The Speaker will have to pass an order on the plea of resignations, which will then be conveyed to the Supreme Court on Friday. 

The decision was made by the SC as it was hearing a petition filed by the 10 rebel MLAs – Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, HD Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda – seeking the SC to direct the Speaker accept their resignations.

At present, the Congress-JD(S) coalition has just 101 MLAs in the Assembly, including the Speaker and BSP MLA Mahesh. The BJP has 107 legislators including independent MLA H Nagesh and KPJP MLA R Sankar. The majority mark is 105.

However, the coalition hopes that they will be able to convince at least a few MLAs to take back their resignations. With Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar saying that the MLAs have to come before him personally to submit their resignations, the Congress hopes that once these MLAs reach Bengaluru, they will be able to meet and convince them.

On the other hand, the Congress had also sought disqualification of these warring MLAs on grounds of anti-party activities and has also sought that they be debarred from contesting for elections for six years.