Dissident Congress MLAs while offering prayers at Mumbai temple. Photo/ANI
Dissident Congress MLAs while offering prayers at Mumbai temple. Photo/ANI

Karnataka: Cong, BJP go hotel-hopping in Bengaluru as crisis continues

ANI | Updated: Jul 12, 2019 17:08 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], July 12 (ANI): Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Karnataka, the Congress and the BJP have decided to move their legislators to different hotels in the city after the Assembly proceedings on Friday.
Congress MLAs will be lodged at Clarks Exotica Convention Resorts while those of the BJP will stay at Ramada Hotel in Bengaluru. The state unit of the BJP has booked 30 rooms for two days at the facility.
"All party MLAs will move to a hotel and come back on Monday," senior BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa told media persons here.
The rebel Congress MLAs were also supposed to be present in the Assembly session, which is currently underway. The dissidents came back to Bengaluru yesterday to meet the Speaker, as per Supreme Court directions but flew back to Mumbai at night ignoring the whip issued by the Congress-JDS coalition leader.
Chikkodi legislator and chief whip of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, Ganesh Hukkeri, had directed MLAs to attend the Assembly session for passage of the Finance Bill on Friday.
Hukkeri had also said that the Assembly will discuss several other matters and the absent MLAs will be disqualified under the 'anti-defection law'.
For the last few days, the dissident Congress-JDS MLAs were staying at Sofitel Hotel in Mumbai. Following which, Congress leader DK Shivakumar had gone to there pacify them but to no avail.
Ever since the Karnataka coalition plunged into crisis, Congress has repeatedly accused the BJP of trying to topple the government, an allegation denied by the BJP.
The ten rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs had moved the top court, seeking a direction to Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to accept their resignation and to not proceed with the applications for their disqualification from the House.
After hearing their plea, the Supreme Court today ordered a status quo until July 16.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Deepak Gupta will again hear the matter on Tuesday.
The order on status quo was given after hearing counsels--Mukul Rohtagi for the rebel MLAs and Abishek Manu Singhvi for Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
The bench had on Thursday directed the Speaker to meet the rebel MLAs who were asked to give their resignations afresh in person. The Speaker met them and took their resignations but did not take any decision saying he has to follow procedures and satisfy himself whether they were genuine and voluntary.
Rohatgi argued that the Speaker was answerable to the court, except under "certain circumstances". "He may not respond under certain sections and provisions, he is entitled to exemption," he submitted.
Earlier in the day, the Speaker agreed to meet at 4 pm three of the five rebel Congress MLAs, who have tendered their resignations in the "prescribed" format.
Kumar last night had dismissed the MLAs' charge of delaying a decision on the resignations to help the government. "I need to examine these resignations (of rebel MLAs) all night and ascertain if they are genuine. The Supreme Court has asked me to take a decision. I have video-graphed everything and I will send it to the Supreme Court," said Kumar.
The 13-month old coalition government is starting a collapse following the resignation of 16 of the Congress and JD(S) MLAs who cited a range of issue from allegedly being sidelined to declined ministerial berth in the government. (ANI)