In view of the ongoing political imbroglio which has left Karnataka assembly in disarray, the Supreme Court is set to examine the constitutional issues into the resignations of 15 rebel Karnataka MLAs today.
The apex court is set to hear pleas of five more MLAs — Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Roshan Baig, and Munirathna.
The hearing holds major significance as it is being held just two days ahead of the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s government is to pass its biggest litmus test on the floor of the House. .
In a separate development amidst the political turmoil in Karnataka, Congress MLA and former Minister R. Roshan Baig was detained by SIT officials at the Kempegowda International Airport. He was held while trying to leave the city on late Monday night. It occurred hours after he was served a notice in the IMA scam and asked to appear before SIT before July 19.
Today SIT probing the #IMA case detained @rroshanbaig for questioning at the BIAL airport while he was trying leave along with @BSYBJP's PA Santosh on a chartered flight to Mumbai. I was told that on seeing the SIT, Santhosh ran away while the team apprehended Mr. Baig. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/MmyH4CyVfP
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) July 15, 2019
BJP's Yogeshwar was present at the time there.Its a shame that @BJP4Karnataka is helping a former minister escape, who is facing a probe in the #IMA case. This clearly shows #BJP' s direct involvement in destabilizing the govt through horse trading.2/2@INCIndia @INCKarnataka
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) July 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Karnataka Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar was recently directed by the Supreme Court to maintain status quo on the petitions of Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.
The disgruntled legislators in their pleas have argued that the Speaker has not taken decisions on their resignations to compel their respective parties to disqualify them.
The political situation witnessed a crucial development when the State Assembly Speaker ‘directed’ Kumaraswamy to undergo the floor test on Thursday.
What can happen?
In case the rebellious MLAs — 15 of the ruling coalition, expelled Congress MLA Roshan Baig and two independents — failed to participate in the floor test, the effective strength of the Karnataka Assembly will reduce. It means the equation will be in favour of the BJP.
In case, the Congress-JD(S) combine failed in persuading the defectors, the ruling dispensation can issue a whip to remain present on the floor of the house on the day of the trust vote.
The parties can disqualify the rebel MLAs if they fail to remain present in the House despite a party whip.
Earlier, the BJP had asked Kumaraswamy to resign with immediate effect or seek a trust vote on Monday.
The demand came as a total of 16 MLAs of JD(S) and Congress resigned and two independents withdrew their support to the government and extended it to the BJP, as per State BJP President B S Yeddyurappa claims.
Former chief minister Yeddyurappa said, 15 MLAs approached the Supreme Court against Assembly Speaker for not accepting their resignation.
Karnataka Legislative Assembly will resume its session today after the weekend.
On the other hand, with political theatrics of Karnataka becoming the talk of the country, Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah put up a brave front to put his house in order.
His efforts got a boost with disgruntled Congress MLA MTB Nagaraj initially saying he would remain with the party. But he turned a volte-face later.