Bharatiya Janata Party legislators led by the party’s Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday met Governor Vajubhai Vala amid a political crisis in the state, ANI reported. After meeting the governor, the BJP delegation met Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar at the Vidhan Soudha, the state Assembly, in Bengaluru.
At least 16 legislators from the ruling coalition have stepped down over the past week. If they do not withdraw their resignations, the 13-month-old coalition government will collapse. All ministers of both parties have already vacated their Cabinet posts to accommodate the legislators in the government.
“I requested the governor to convey to the speaker that he should take necessary action immediately,” Yeddyurappa said. “Kumaraswamy has no moral right to continue as chief minister, they [Congress and Janata Dal Secular] don’t have the numbers.” On Tuesday, Kumar had refused to accept the resignations of eight of the MLAs for not being in order. He asked them to meet him on July 11 and July 12.
Earlier on Wednesday, the rebel MLAs moved the Supreme Court against the speaker’s refusal to accept their resignations. They accused Kumar of abandoning his constitutional duty and deliberately not accepting their resignations and delaying the process. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi assured senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the rebel MLAs, that it would examine if the plea can be listed for an urgent hearing on Thursday.
“The petition [in the Supreme Court] has been filed by 10 MLAs,” ANI quoted Mukul Rohatgi as saying. “They have resigned voluntarily and they are complaining that speaker is not taking immediate decision and is deliberately delaying it for various reasons. So, we have asked the Court to take up the petition immediately and I expect that the petition will come up tomorrow.”
Congress leader KC Venugopal told reporters that advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi would represent the party in the court.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the police arrested Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar, Congress leader Milind Deora and others protesting outside the Renaissance Hotel in Mumbai’s Powai locality, where the rebel MLAs are holed up. Shivakumar was not allowed to enter the hotel. Later, the Congress leaders were detained and taken to the Kalina University rest house in Santacruz. Section 144, prohibiting the assembly of four or more persons, was imposed in Powai.
Protests in Bengaluru
Both Congress and BJP leaders and workers held protests in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Siddaramaiah, along with Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda and KC Venugopal protested near Raj Bhavan. Azad and the other leaders were detained by the police. Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders also protested outside the Assembly.
On the other hand, Yeddyurappa protested outside the Vidhan Soudha along with BJP workers. The group staged a sit-in protest at the venue.