Karnataka rebel MLAs cant be compelled to attend Assembly SC

first_imgBengaluru/ New Delhi: The Congress-JDS government in Karnataka is hanging by a thread Wednesday ahead of the floor test on July 18 with the rebel MLAs refusing to yield after the Supreme Court held they cannot be compelled to attend the assembly session to decide the ruling coalition’s fate.As the coalition with truncated strength struggled to shore up its numbers amid dimming hopes, the Supreme Court Wednesday ruled that the 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs “ought not” to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the state Assembly. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayThe court verdict was interpreted in political circles as a relief for the rebel lawmakers, as it categorically said an option should be given to them as to whether they wanted to take part or stay out of the assembly proceedings. The ruling coalition had held out the threat of using the Whip against the wayward MLAs, citing the disqualification provision under the anti-defection law. Armed with the court order, the rebel Congress-JDS MLAs camping in Mumbai said there was no question of stepping back on their resignations or attending the session. Also Read – Don’t use ‘lynching’ to defame India: BhagwatAs the spotlight turned on the Supreme Court, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the Speaker was free to decide on the resignations of the rebel MLAs within the time-frame decided by him. The apex court was hearing the plea of 15 rebel MLAs of Congress and JD(S), seeking a direction to the Speaker to accept their resignations from the Assembly. Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar welcomed the Supreme Court decision, giving him the freedom to decide on the resignations of rebel MLAs, and said he would conduct himself responsibly in accordance with the principles of the Constitution. As many as 16 MLAs – 13 from the Congress and three from JD(S) – have resigned, while independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, putting the coalition government in jitters. Congress’ pointsman and minister D K Shivakumar maintained that the party can issue a whip to ensure the presence of all the party MLAs in the House. Happy with the verdict, Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said it was a “moral victory” for the rebel MLAs. But the Congress in Karnataka slammed the Supreme Court order as a “bad judgment”, which seemed to protect the defectors and encourage horse-trading. See insidelast_img