Amidst the growing political crisis in Karnataka, Speaker Ramesh Kumar has decided to play the delaying game. Speaking to TNM, the Speaker said that he will read the rule book and speak to all MLAs who have given their resignation one by one before taking his decision. According to sources, the Congress plans to use this opportunity to convince the MLAs to switch back their loyalties and avert the fall of the Congress-JD(S) alliance government in Karnataka.
Speaking to the media in a laid back tone, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said that his office is open to any member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) who would like to submit their resignation. However, he also said that he will not be able to accept the resignations soon, as he has to read the rule book carefully, understand the rules, and only then take any decision.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said, â€śAnybody can come and resign; they are free to do so. I will be in my office till evening. But I cannot accept immediately as I would need to verify them. I need to go through the rule book, understand it and then come to a conclusion. All members are elected individually. I don't want to commit a mistake; the future should not consider me as an accused."
The Speaker also said that the BJP criticised him for being too partisan. â€śI cannot answer to their allegations,â€ť he added.
According to News9, the Assembly Secretary, MK Vishalakshi, has brought the resignation letters of the MLAs to the Speakerâ€™s office.
On Saturday, when 13 MLAs of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government reached the Speakerâ€™s office to submit their resignations, the Karnataka Assembly Speaker made a quick disappearing act. The Speaker is the only person who can accept resignations of elected legislators in the state.
The crisis began after 13 MLAs - 10 Congress and 3 JD(S) - with the coalition submitted their resignations to the Speaker's office last Saturday. The disgruntled legislators met with the Governor and informed him of their decision to resign.
Many of the MLAs were flown out to Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai. On July 8, Independent MLA H Nagesh withdrew support from the coalition and KPJP MLA R Shankar also withdrew support. Earlier this month, MLA Anand Singh had also resigned. The strength of the Assembly is 224 including Speaker.
With the 13 MLAs resigning, the quorum has reduced to 211. With this spate of resignations, the Congress-JD(S) coalition has 104 MLAs while the BJP has 107 MLAs on its side. The coalition does not have the majority to rule the government if the speaker accepts the resignation of the MLAs.