Bengaluru: In a major development which could bring relief to the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka, the state Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar said that eight of the 13 resignations received by ruling coalition MLAs, eight were illegal.
So far, 16 rebel MLAs and two Independents have put in their papers, dissatisfied over the allocation of berths.
In a last ditch bid to save the government, the remaining Congress and JDS MLAs had resigned on Tuesday to accommodate the rebels' woes. The Congress, however, was less amenable to rebels on Wednesday when party leader Siddaramaiah announed he would seek disqualification of the party quitters.
On Wednesday, suspended MLA of Congress Roshan Big also resigned, taking the final tally to 16. Commenting on Baig's resignation, Siddaramaiah said his resignation was also anti-party.
Meanwhile, the Speaker said: "I have written to the Governor that none of the rebel MLAs met me. He has expressed confidence that I will uphold the constitutional norms. Out of 13 resignations, eight are not according to law. I have given them time to present themselves before me.”
Sixteen MLAs have resigned so far, which includes 11 from the Congress and. If accepted, the coalition government's strength in the Assembly would be reduced to 102 minus the Speaker against the new majority mark of 105. On the other hand, BJP's strength as of now stands at 107, with the two Independents throwing in their lot with the saffron party.
After the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Wednesday morning, the party also urged Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to ban these MLAs, who have "colluded" with the BJP, from contesting elections for at least six years.