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Rebel MLAs move SC against Karnataka Speaker; DK Shivakumar stopped from entering Mumbai hotel amid ‘Go Back’ slogans

Mysuru District Minister GT Devegowda and MLA Shivalinge Gowda were also present in Mumbai

Political News, National, Karnataka, Mumbai/New Delhi, July 10:-In a new twist to the Karnataka drama, 10 rebel Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs moved the Supreme Court today against the Speaker, alleging that he has failed in his “Constitutional duty” by not accepting their resignations.

The Apex Court is likely to hear the pleas of rebel MLAs tomorrow (July 11). A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submission of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, and assured him that it will see whether their petition can be listed for an urgent hearing tomorrow.

Earlier, Congress leader DK Shivakumar, who reached Mumbai in the morning to meet the rebels, was forced to return from the hotel by the police after he was greeted with ‘go back’ slogans. Shivakumar said, “Nothing is permanent in politics. There’re no friends and no enemies. Anyone can turn at any moment. I’m trying to contact them (rebel MLAs). I’ll get a call. Their heart is beating to meet their friend.”

Mysuru District Minister GT Devegowda and MLA Shivalinge Gowda (Shravanabelogala) were also present in Mumbai.

Ten rebel MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) combine had written to the Mumbai Police Commissioner expressing fears of threat to their lives during the visit of Shivakumar and a JD(S) leader to Mumbai today. The letter signed by 10 MLAs said they have heard that Shivakumar and others are going to storm the hotel premises they are staying in and they feel threatened by this.

The letter stated that the MLAs were not willing to meet the two leaders and wanted the police not to allow them to enter the hotel premises.

The signatories of the letter are Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, B C Patil, Byrati Basavraj, S T Somshekar, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Gopalaiyya, AH Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali.

The copies of the letter have been marked to Zone 10 deputy commissioner of police, senior inspector of Powai Police Station and the management of the hotel they are staying in.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police has imposed Section 144, which prohibits assembly of more than four people at one place, has been imposed in Powai Police station limits with effect from July 9 to July 12 because of “likelihood of breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility.”

In what can be termed as a breather for the beleaguered JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, the state Assembly Speaker held that the resignations of nine out of 14 rebel MLAs are not in order.

Fighting to save the government, the Congress also sought the intervention of Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in disqualifying its rebel legislators and accused the BJP of using money power to lure its members. The BJP has denied the charge.

The fate of the 13-month-old JD(S)-Congress government led by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is hinged on the Speaker’s decision on the resignation of the 14 MLAs, including MLA R Roshan Baig who joined the bandwagon of dissidents on Tuesday. A total of 13 MLAs, 10 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S), submitted their resignation to the Speaker’s office on Saturday triggering a fresh political crisis.

Speaker Kumar said the resignation letters of 9 out of 14 MLAs of the ruling coalition were not in the prescribed format and he has asked them to submit the letters properly.

As speculation mounted on the whereabouts of the rebel MLAs after they left a suburban Mumbai hotel on Monday night, they returned to the western metropolis from Satara in western Maharashtra. A couple of them are reported to be camping in Bengaluru.

A dozen MLAs from Karnataka, who flew to Mumbai three days ago after quitting the state’s Assembly are still camping here, a legislator said. The confirmation by Karnataka Congress MLA BC Patil on Tuesday came after speculation that the legislators were holed up near Satara in western Maharashtra.

The legislators were earlier on their way to Goa accompanied by a BJP leader, but cut short the trip and returned to Mumbai, sources said. The two Independent MLA-ministers, H Nagesh and R Shankar, who withdrew support on Monday in a further blow to the government are also reported to be in Mumbai.

The Congress rushed senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and BK Hariprasad to Bengaluru to help defuse the crisis amid reports that some more MLAs including Sowmya Reddy, daughter of rebel Congress leader and party veteran Ramalinga Reddy, may join the dissident ranks.

Sources said UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has asked the central party leaders to find a way out to save the government.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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