BENGALURU — Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Tuesday said the resignation letters of eight out of 13 MLAs of the ruling coalition were not in the prescribed format and he has asked the legislators to submit them properly.
The fate of the 13-month-old Congress-JD(S) government led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is hinged on the Speaker’s decision on the resignation of the 14 MLAs including Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig who joined the bandwagon of dissidents on Tuesday.
“Baig’s letter was submitted today and so I have not scrutinised it,” Kumar said.
“Among these 13 resignation letters (submitted earlier), five are in the prescribed format as per the regulations.
“These five are of Anand Singh, Narayana Gowda, Pratap Gouda Patil, Gopalaiah and Ramalinga Reddy,” Kumar told reporters at his chamber.
“Since the other resignation letters were not in the prescribed format, we have sent them a reminder letter that they were not in the prescribed format and hence, if you wish you can submit your resignations properly,” he added.
The 14 MLAs who submitted their resignations are ST Somashekhar, Munirathna, BA Basavaraj, Pratap Gouda Patil, BC Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, A Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, Ramalinga Reddy, Anand Singh and R Roshan Baig (all congress), and Gopalaiah, Narayana Gowda, Adagur H Vishwanath (all JDS), the speaker said.
He said he has asked Anand Singh, Pratap Gouda Patil, Narayana Gowda to appear before him for personal hearing on 12 July at 3 pm and 4 pm, though the assembly session will begin on that day.
Since 13 and 14 July are holidays, Kumar said he would hear K Gopalaiah and Ramalinga Reddy on 15 July.
“I have given them two days time and asked them to present their argument on 11 July. Then I will have to fix a date to hold a hearing and serve notices to the persons concerned,” Kumar said.
Asked whether the resignations submitted to his office were acceptable, Kumar earlier hinted the MLAs might have to personally hand them over, saying, “if everything can happen through postal correspondence, I am not required at all”.
Of the 14 MLAs who resigned, four are camping in Bengaluru while the rest are in Mumbai.
The Speaker said he will go through the rule book and consult seniors about the developments, whether the resignations can be accepted or a different course of action was needed.
“I have to make a conscious decision. Every step I take will become history, so I can’t be committing a mistake. Future generations should not look at me like an accused,” Kumar added.
Questioned on whether the Congress legal cell had written to him that the resignations should not be accepted, Kumar said he has not seen the letter yet.
“I left office on Saturday. I came only today. Whichever cell has written, I have to go through it now,” he told journalists at the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat.
While 13 MLAs from ruling coalition Congress and the JD(S) resigned earlier including 12 on Saturday, two independent MLAs H Nagesh (Mulbagal constituency) and R Shankar (Ranebennur) withdrew their support to the government on Monday.
With the support of two independents, the BJP now has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.
If the resignations of the 13 MLAs (ten of Congress, and three JDS) are accepted, the coalition’s tally will be reduced to 103.
The Speaker has a casting vote in case of a tie.