Karnataka Assembly to convene today amid resignation spree

Bengaluru: The spree of resignations by MLAs of the ruling Congress and JD(S) is set to resonate in the Karnataka Assembly when it convenes today for a 10-day session amidst opposition BJPs demand for a floor test and ouster of the HD Kumaraswamy government.
The session had been convened in the normal course before the 13-month-old government plunged into a crisis, triggered on July 6 by a string of resignations by 18
legislators who were part of the ruling coalition.
In the 225-member Assembly, including one nominated, the Congress had 79 MLAs, including Speaker, and JD(S) had 37 before the resignation by 16 MLAs. Lone members of BSP and KPJP (a regional outfit) besides an Independent also were with the government.
However, 16 MLAs — 13 of the Congress and 3 of the JD(S) — have tendered their resignations over the last few days. The KPJP legislator and the independent have also quit and withdrawn their support to the government.
If the Speaker accepts all the resignations, the Assembly’s effective strength will drop to 209 from 225 and the ruling coalition will be reduced to 100, when the halfway mark would be 105.
The Speaker has so far refused to accept the resignations, saying some of those were not in prescribed
format and others need to explain in person why action could not be taken against them under the Anti-Defection law.
The rebel MLAs moved the Supreme Court against the Speaker’s decision. The top court asked them to meet the Speaker at 6 pm on Thursday and said the Speaker should take a decision on Thursday itself.
Hours later, the Speaker also moved the Supreme Court, seeking vacation of its order.
On the other hand, the BJP, sensing an opportunity with 105 MLAs, is pressing for a floor test of the Kumaraswamy government, saying that it has “lost” majority in the Assembly after 16 rebel legislators of the ruling allies resigned and two independents withdrew support to it for various reasons.
The BJP has also appealed to the Governor to direct the Speaker to hold the floor test.
“If the Speaker accepts the resignations of all the 13 Congress and 3 JD-S members, the assembly’s strength will reduce to 209 from 225, with 105 as the new halfway mark for a simple majority,” BJP’s state unit spokesman G. Madhusudan said.
“We will not allow the Assembly to take up the listed business till the government proves it has majority in the absence of the 18 legislators of the ruling allies who resigned and are unlikely to be present in the House as they have already decided,” said Madhusudan. — IANS