The Speaker however is refusing to meet them and told the media that the MLAs will have to fix an appointment if they wanted to meet him, calling their visit an attempt to blackmail.

Will Karnataka govt survive 13 JDS-Cong MLAs line up outside Speakers office to resign
news Politics Saturday, July 06, 2019 - 13:36

Speculation is rife in political circles that several MLAs from the ruling coalition in Karnataka are all set to tender their resignations. Amidst such speculation, thirteen legislators went knocking on Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s door in the Vidhana Soudha on Saturday, intending to speak to him.

Two JD(S) MLAs and 11 Congress MLAs reached Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s office on Saturday afternoon to offer their resignation. Among them 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 Suresh, ST Somashekar, Munirathna, Subba Reddy, and Pratapgouda Patil. More MLAs are on the way according to reports, including Sowmya Reddy. However, the Speaker has refused to meet them so far.

The developments have come as a shock to leaders of the ruling coalition. Soon after the news of the legislators reaching Vidhana Soudha got out, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao rushed to former Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy’s residence as the latter’s name was doing the rounds as one of the MLAs likely to quit.

The Speaker, who is in Vidhana Soudha, told the media that the MLAs will have to fix an appointment with him if they wanted to meet him, and called their visit an attempt to blackmail. "They have to take an appointment with me. I am not sitting at a market here. I am the Speaker. Blackmail tactics of spreading rumours of resignations will not work with me," Ramesh Kumar said.

According to reports, 11 Congress and two JD(S) MLAs are likely to quit their posts after meeting with Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. A highly placed source in the Congress said that Congress MLAs Ramalinga Reddy, Sowmya Reddy, Shivaram Hebbar, BC Patil, Pratapgouda Patil, SN Subba Reddy, Mahesh Kumatahalli, Roshan Baig, Muniratna, Byrathi Basavaraj, ST Somashekar and JD(S) MLAs AH Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda were likely to quit.

Sources in the Congress say that the fresh round of resignations are the BJP’s attempt at luring away ruling coalition’s legislators ahead of the Monsoon session of the Assembly, which is slated to begin on July 12.

“BJP wants a no confidence motion when the session begins. The Speaker is trying to stall the resignations. None of the MLAs resignations have been accepted so far,” the Congress source said.

The strength of the coalition government is 120 now, including the Speaker. Congress has 80 MLAs, the JD(S) has 37 MLAs and there is 1 BSP MLA. Two independent MLAs - R Shankar from Ranebennur and H Nagesh from Mulbagal constituencies - are also supporting the coalition.

Meanwhile, the BJP has 105 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. The majority mark in the Assembly is 113.

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