Written byShalini Ojha ·
Karnataka politics is going through a bizarre phase- 18 MLAs have tendered their resignations, the speaker hasn't accepted them for days now, and the Supreme Court (which was also brought into the crisis) has decided to give its verdict on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the state machinery has crippled as the ruling coalition of Congress-JD(S) is trying to save its chair.
When will Karnataka's natak end?
The over-one-year-old Karnataka government, led by HD Kumaraswamy, was on shaky ground since day one. But it was jolted after 18 legislators quit, threatening its survival.
When speaker KR Ramesh didn't accept their resignations, ten MLAs went to SC, complaining about him.
After giving him time till Thursday, SC revised its statement and told Ramesh he can decide on resignations by Tuesday, which he didn't.
Now, today's hearing at SC was important for crumbling coalition, more so, because Kumaraswamy is scheduled to face a floor test on Thursday.
While initially, 10 MLAs approached SC, the bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Deepak Gupta, and Aniruddha Bose heard the pleas of 15 legislators today.
The proceedings lasted for over 212 minutes, after which bench said verdict would be pronounced at 10:30 AM on Wednesday.
Notably, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi, representing the MLAs, said Ramesh was bound by the Constitution to accept the resignations.
"It's for nobody to go into my mind or my heart when I resign voluntarily," he said.
Claiming that resignation and disqualification shouldn't be mixed, he added, "The 15 MLAs should be exempt from appearing in the Assembly. We have the fundamental right to resign."
Separately, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Ramesh, said the speaker hasn't demanded any "undue" time.
"Please modify earlier order, I will decide both disqualification and resignation by tomorrow," Singhvi told the court.
He also argued that Ramesh can't be directed to take a call on the resignations in a time-bound manner.
Naturally, these comments of Singhvi miffed CJI Gogoi.
Hearing Singhvi's argument, CJI Gogoi said, "We can pass orders to hold floor test within 24 hours, we can appoint protem speaker. You accepted that when it suited you," referring to last year's development when BS Yeddyurappa was ordered to prove majority within a day.
The court also heard arguments of Kumaraswamy, who was represented by senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan.
Claiming that speaker has to probe whether the resignations were genuine or not, Dhavan said, "The Speaker has to take notice of the fact that 15 MLAs (lawmakers) are hunting in pack...they went to the hotel together."
To recall, after resigning the rebel MLAs went to Mumbai, ditching Karnataka.
"Every MLA who went to Mumbai wants to be a minister. It is a pack of 10 MLAs. It isn't about the Speaker vs the Court but the Chief Minister vs somebody who wants to become Chief Minister," Dhavan told the court.
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