Cannot be pushed into decision: Speaker tells SC

The court had fixed the July 12 hearing to be apprised of the Speaker’s decision on the resignations. In his application, the Speaker criticised the MLAs for casting aspersions on his dignity. The battle for power in Karnataka reached the Supreme Court first on July 9 when the Congress and JD(S) MLAs jointly accused the H.D. Kumaraswamy coalition government of scams and maladministration. They also blamed the Speaker for delaying acceptance of their resignations in a bid to prolong the life of the ruling coalition. “And tomorrow (July 12), the Karnataka Assembly session starts. A whip has been issued by their parties, if they violate the whip, they face disqualification… The MLAs want to resign. They do not have to give a reason for their resignation. All they need is a formal acceptance by the Speaker of their resignation… They do not want to defect, they want to go back to the people,” Mr. Rohatgi submitted to the court in the morning. In his application to the Supreme Court, Mr. Ramesh Kumar said the Tenth Schedule or anti-defection law casts a mandatory duty on the Speaker to decide applications for disqualification. Thus, the Speaker has to first enquire into whether the 10 MLAs concerned have incurred any reason for disqualification prior to the submission of their resignation letter on July 6.

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