Buoyed by the Supreme Court's favourable order on their joint petitions to abstain from the Assembly, 15 Karnataka rebel legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) allies said on Wednesday they would not attend the session on Thursday (July 18) for the trust vote by beleaguered Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
"We are not going to Bengaluru to attend the Assembly on Thursday. We thank the Supreme Court for allowing us to abstain from the session as we have already resigned and urged the Speaker to accept them forthwith," JD(S) rebel lawmaker AH Vishwanath told news channels in Kannada from a star hotel in Mumbai.
Passing interim orders on the rebels' joint petitions, the apex court's three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said there was no compulsion on them to attend the Assembly and participate in the trust vote, which would take place as scheduled.
"We will return to Bengaluru after the present government collapses. We are united in our common cause and remain together till we achieve our goal," said Vishwanath, who was the state president of the JD(S) till last month.
Accusing the leaders of the coalition allies for the current political crisis, Vishwanath said they (rebels) were only attempted to put an end to the anarchy prevailing in the state due to poor governance and maladministration.
Of the 14 rebels staying put in Mumbai, 11 belong to the Congress and 3 to JD-S. Two more Congress rebels -- R. Ramalinga Reddy and R. Roshan Baig are in Bengaluru.
Earlier on the day the Supreme Court granted liberty to the 15 rebel MLAs of the ruling coalition in Karnataka to not participate in Thursdayâ€™s trust vote in its interim order on the matter concerning the delay in acceptance of resignation. At the same time, the apex court said that the Speaker may decide on the resignation and disqualifications of the case as and when he wants.
"We also make it clear that until further orders the 15 Members of the Assembly, ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same," part of the order read.