11-07-201911-07-2019 17:47:28 IST
2019-07-11T12:17:28.095Z11-07-2019 2019-07-11T12:17:23.192Z - - 17-07-2019
The Supreme Court’s directions to the rebel legislators and Assembly speaker raised hopes of a possible end to the nerve-wracking Karnataka coalition crisis on Thursday. But unrelenting moves from all the three stakeholders – JD(S), Congress and the BJP – make it a game that is still far from over. In a bid to end the impasse, the Supreme Court asked the rebel legislators to appear before Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar and resubmit their resignations.
The speaker was directed to take a decision on Thursday itself, thereby narrowing the scope for any more possible delaying tactics. But soon came this twist. In a camouflaged move aimed at buying more time, the speaker hurriedly petitioned the Supreme Court seeking quashing of its earlier interim directions. His petition was premised on the contention that he would need more time to review the resignations. Whatever will be the fate of his petition, the speaker revealed his intentions in a subtle manner -- that he is not ready to bite the bullet as yet to let the legislators have the last laugh.
The rebelling MLAs, who have sparked off the biggest threat to the fragile Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka, could be hoping to get their resignations accepted when they meet the speaker in the evening. But given the mood, it only looks like a remote possibility. Keeping aside the morality aspect, every legislator is legally entitled to tender his resignation as long as it is submitted in the prescribed format. Going by the rule book, the speaker will be obliged to accept it without any fuss in any other case. But given the extraordinary scenario of high political stakes where the resignations of a few legislators are brazenly being used to topple the government, it is anybody’s guess which way the speaker could be swinging when he sits to decide the matter.
As a Congress MLA himself before being elevated to the highest legislative post, Ramesh Kumar is widely believed to stick to his guns and do only what will save the government from crumbling. The only option left for him is to disqualify some of the legislators on the grounds of anti-party activities. If the speaker opts for this extreme step, it’s only likely to trigger yet another bout of legal battle, thereby worsening the situation even further. Against this backdrop, it will be really interesting to see how the speaker will act when the rebel MLAs meet him.
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