Karnataka Assembly Speaker: Am working as per Constitution

A day ahead of SC’s decision on rebel MLAs’ resignations, Speaker Ramesh Kumar said he would ‘only perform his duty’

Karnataka Assembly Speaker: Am working as per Constitution
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PTI

Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar against whom 15 ruling coalition rebel MLAs have moved the Supreme Court alleging delay in accepting their resignations, on Tuesday said he is working in accordance with the Constitution and was performing his duty.

The apex court will pronounce its order on Wednesday morning on the pleas of 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs seeking direction for Kumar to accept their resignations from the Assembly.

"Ultimately, what the Supreme Court will come out (its verdict), after going through that, I will respond," Kumar told reporters in Kolar district.

Stating that he was working in accordance with the Constitution, he said "I don't have freedom to comment on all other matters being the Speaker."

"I am not someone who is going to challenge...I will only perform my duty…everyone will have to wait till tomorrow," he added.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi concluded the hearings of the rebel MLAs, the speaker and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday.

The order from the Supreme Court will come a day before the Congress-JD(S) government faces the floor test in the Assembly, which would end suspense over the numbers game triggered by a raft of resignations by the ruling coalition lawmakers.

As many as 16 MLAs -- 13 from the Congress and threefrom the JD(S) -- have resigned while two independent MLAs S Shankar and H Nagesh have withdrawn their support to the coalition government, keeping it on the edge.

In a bid to keep their flock together ahead of the floor test, the Congress, BJP and JD(S) have shifted their MLAs to resorts.

The Congress on Tuesday shifted its MLAs from a hotel in the city to a resort on the outskirts, amid fears that some more legislators may resign.

Reacting to state BJP chief Yeddyurappa's reported statement claiming that another 2-3 MLAs were likely to resign ahead of the confidence motion, KPCC chief Dinesh Gundu Rao alleged that resignation of Congress-JD(S) MLAs were with "malafide intent".

"This statement clearly proves that the resignations by @INCIndia/JDS MLAs were done with malafide intent. @BSYBJP has purposely said this to ensure that the Speaker has enough material to disqualify the rebel MLAs.

The rebel MLAs have fallen into a trap," he said in a tweet.

The ruling coalition's strength in the House is 117-- Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP 1, and nominated 1, besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two Independents, the opposition BJP has 107 MLAs in the 225-member House, including the nominated MLA and Speaker.

If the resignations of the 16 MLAs are accepted, the ruling coalition's tally will be reduced to 101.

According to official sources, the nominated member too has a right to vote.

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