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2 rebel K'taka MLAs fail to appear before Speaker

July 15, 2019 22:48 IST

IMAGE: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara with other members during the assembly session at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, on Monday. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

Two rebel legislators, one each from the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular, failed to appear before the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Monday for a personal hearing over their resignations from the House, official sources said.

The Speaker had last week asked Ramalinga Reddy (Cong) and Gopalaiah (JD-S) to appear before him at his office.

Both Reddy and Gopalaiah had called up the Assembly Secretary's office and informed that they will not be able to appear Monday and sought another date, assembly secretariat sources said.

 

"Speaker is yet to fix another date for them to appear before him," the sources added.

While Gopalaiah remained in Mumbai along with other disgruntled MLAs, Reddy is said to have cited personal reasons.

Earlier in the day, Reddy, a seven time Congress legislator, had tweeted clarifying that he was in Bengaluru, amid reports that he was on his way to Mumbai where other rebel MLAs are camped.

'Some people are unnecessarily spreading the news that I am flying to Mumbai. I have made it very clear that I am in #Bengaluru. Request media friends to abstain from the rumours,' he said in a tweet.

The Congress has considered Reddy an 'exception' and has not made any disqualification plea against him, as he has stated that he was not quitting the party.

Coalition leaders including Chief Minister H DKumaraswamy, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal had made attempts to pacify Reddy and convince him to withdraw resignation.

Congress leaders feel that if Reddy withdraws, at least three Congress MLAs from Bengaluru city, S T Somashekar, Munirathna and Byrathi Basavaraj may also follow suit.

Earlier, three rebel MLAs Narayana Gowda of JD-S and Anand Singh and Prathap Gouda Patil of Congress had failed to appear before the Speaker on July 12.

Reddy and Gopalaiah were part of the first batch of 13 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) combine who resignedfrom the assembly on July 6, dealing a blow to the coalition government. Later, three other MLAs also quit.

Ramesh Kumar had held that the resignation letters of only five of the 13 MLAs were in proper format.

In addition to that of Gopaliah and Reddy, resignations of Gowda, Patil andSingh were found in order.

The speaker had then fixed July 12 and 15 for hearing MLAs whose resignations were in order,while asking others to submit their resignations properly.

10 MLAs who moved the Supreme Court alleging that the speaker was not accepting their resignations had appeared before him Thursday as directed by the court and submitted resignations afresh.

After the MLAs met him, the speaker ruled out any immediate decision on the resignation.

When the matter came up Friday, the apex court restrained the speaker from taking any decision on the resignations as well as disqualification of MLAs till July 16.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea of five more rebel Congress MLAs along with the pending petition of 10 legislators seeking a direction to the Speaker to accept their resignations.

Five more rebel Congress MLAs from Karnataka had moved the top court on July 13 against the speaker not accepting their resignations.

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