Karnataka crisis LIVE Updates: Speaker not right in challenging court authority: Mukul Rohatgi

Supreme Court on Thursday directed the 10 rebel MLAs to meet the Karnataka assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar at his office by 6 pm. The apex court has asked the Speaker to grant an audience to all the rebel MLAs. The MLAs are now likely to fly from Mumbai to Bengaluru to meet the Speaker.

In their plea, the rebel MLAs had alleged that the Speaker had refused to meet them.

Stay with IndiaToday.in to catch LIVE news updates on the Karnataka coalition government crisis.

The SC bench, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, has asked the Speaker to inform the court of the developments by Friday, when the court will resume its hearing on rebel MLAs’ plea.

Major developments are underway in Bengaluru as a cabinet meeting has the city on edge. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy is scheduled to chair a cabinet meeting. Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar has issued prohibitory orders within a two-km radius around the Vidhana Soudha.

Karnataka political crisis LIVE news updates:

4:55 pm: Former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi told India Today TV that the Karnataka assembly Speaker has been acting in a partisan manner and it is not right for Ramesh Kumar to challenge the Supreme Court’s order.

4:40 pm: The Karnataka assembly Speaker has reached his chamber in the Vidhana Soudha.

4:21 pm: Rebel MLAs’ plane takes off from Mumbai. They are expected to meet the Speaker at 6 pm on Thursday.

4:08 pm: Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao has told India Today TV that the party will not get in touch with the rebel MLAs. He also said that the Speaker needs some time to decide whether the MLAs need to be disqualified under the anti-defection law. “First the Speaker needs to disqualify then the party will see. If we were falling short of numbers then the BJP could pass a no-confidence motion. Why are not they doing so?” he said.

3:53 pm: Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Congress leader DK Shivakumar and others inspect security arrangement at Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru. The rebel MLAs have been directed by the Supreme Court to meet Karnataka assembly speaker at 6 pm today and resubmit their resignations.

3.13 pm: Karnataka MLAs camping in Mumbai leave for Bengaluru: ANI

3.02 pm: Rebel Congress MLAs reach Mumbai airport, will meet Speaker at 6 pm.

02:43 am: Two more rebel MLAs from Karnataka joined their dissident colleagues, who are staying at a hotel in Mumbai, on Thursday, a source said. With this, the number of rebel legislators from the southern state put up at the Renaissance Hotel in Powai here went up to 14, including nine of the Congress, he added. Read full story

02:21 pm: Speaker has Constitutional mandate to determine whether the resignation is voluntary. The adjudication process should not be interfered with: : Abhishek Manu Singhvi, lawyer for Karnataka said.

02:18 pm: Speaker agrees to meet rebel MLAs at 6 pm, as per SC order.

02:13 pm: Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentions matter before the SC, says Constitution makes it mandatory for the disqualification applications to be decided first. Speaker can not decide on resignations untill then. SC agrees to hear tomorrow.

02:07 pm: The application filed by the speaker requests the court to vacate the interim order passed this morning directing speaker to meet the rebel MLAs today. The speaker, in his application, says judiciary cannot direct speaker of legislature to take a decision. He said the decision on the matter cannot be taken by midnight.

02:05 pm: Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar has moved Supreme Court to request more time for filing his reply. The SC bend, headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi, had asked the speaker to meet the rebel MLAs at 6 pm and revert back to the court tomorrow, when it plans to resume the hearing.

01:55 pm: Rebel Karnataka Congress MLA ST Somashekar said, “Our support is there with this government, to respect our leader Rahul Gandhi. But commitment made by the coalition government failed to satisfy us. We did not taken this decision all of a sudden, we had even informed earlier, but they did not care.”

He added, They became active in solving our issues only is past three days. Why did they not care about us before? You imposed an IAS officer on Bengaluru Development Authority to scrutinise me as I am the BDA president. We do not need a government, which takes such decisions.”

01:35 pm: Mallikarjun Kharge: The SC’s order has to be followed. Let them come and meet. I haven’t spoken to anyone. Senior party leaders will decide.

01:20 pm: Rebel MLA Vishwanth says BJP government likely to be formed in Karnataka. “We all [rebel MLAs] are toegther, this government is going to fall. We Will stick together in the speaker’s chambers too”.

01:06 pm: Bengaluru update: BJP Legislature Party meet to be held at 5 pm at Yeddyurappa’s chamber in Vidhan Soudha.

12:30 pm: Bengaluru update: BS Yeddyurappa holds meeting with 10-12 BJP MLAs, including KG Bopaiah.

12:11 pm: Rebel MLAs to leave in an half hour for the Mumbai airport. They will take charter flight and land at HAL airport.

11:51 am: Bengaluru update: DK Shivakumar reaches at the Vidhan Soudha.

11:50 am: Bengaluru update: Siddaramaiah as leader of Congress party is putting his case in front of the speaker on disqualification matters of Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumtahallli.

11:47 am: Former Congress minister and Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig, summoned by the SIT to appear for questioning in the IMA Ponzi case, has sought three weeks, citing health issues concerning his family members and pre-planned pilgrimage tours. He has got 4 days extension.

11:43 am: Bengaluru update: Crime branch DCP Girish arrives at Speaker chamber.

11:40 am: Bengaluru update: “SC has given a direction. I still have confidence that the MLAs will change their mind and not lose their membership. We will try to accommodate all of them in one way or the other,” DK Shivakumar said while leaving the KK guest house.

“I hope they will come back and withdraw their resignation. There is still time till evening. There may be changes any moment in politics.”

11:34 am: Bengaluru update: Everyone has to respect the SC decision: RV Deshpande

11:29 am: Bengaluru update: Apart from the 10 MLAs, who have moved the SC, the remaining five also likely to move the apex by today evening or tomorrow.

11:20 am: Bengaluru update: Speaker Ramesh Kumar has reached his changed and is currently holding meeting a Congress delegation, led by Siddaramaiah and Dinesh Gundu Rao.

11:15 am: Parliament ruckus: Congress has staged a walkout from Rajya Sabha. Congress MP Anand Sharma had asked for a discussion on Karnataka Political Crisis.

11:14 am: Supreme Court hearing: Speaker also requested to communicate his decision to the court by tomorrow

11:13 am: Supreme Court hearing: SC asks DGP Karnataka to grant security to MLAs when they reach Bangalore

11:12 am: Supreme Court hearing: Mukul Rohatgi requests court to issue orders to DGP Mumbai to provide security for the MLAs due to “drama going on outside hotel”. He has requested for security during transportation from hotel to the airport and then from airport to Speaker’s office.

11:11 am: Supreme Court hearing: CJI directs the MLAs to appear before Speaker of Karnataka assembly by 6 pm on Thursday. The SC has requested the speaker to meet all 10 MLAs together.

11:09 am: Supreme Court hearing: SC directs all 10 MLAs to appear before the Speaker of Karnataka assembly. Their petition will be heard tomorrow.

11:05 am: Prohibitory orders issued around Vidhana Soudha in view of crucial cabinet meet | Read full story

11:00 am: DK Shivakumar says will ake legal action against hotel over cancellation. “It was shocking that after reservation in Mumbai it was cancelled. I stood for hours. I have asked my legal team to look into it. I will take legal action.” The Congress leader also said that he was sure that his party MLAs Sudhakarand MTB will change the stand.

10.53 am: On demand of his resignation, Karnataka CM Kumraswamy said MLAs are with him. The CM claimed that he has the majority. No need to resign, Kumaraswamy said.

10.33 am: Sources have told India Today that two more Congress MLAs in Karnataka are likely to resign today,

09:15 am: CM HD Kumarswamy meets senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, KC Venugopal, Ghulam Nabi Azad at KK guest house

09:00 am: Speaker Ramesh Kumar to meet Congress at 11 am to discuss the disqualification of its MLAs.

02:00 am: DK Shivakumar has been deported from Mumbai to Bengaluru after he being held in detention for several hours for violating Sec 144 imposed outside the hotel rebel MLAs are staying at.

01:34 am: Rebel Karnataka Congress MLA ST Somashekar arrives in Bengaluru from Mumbai. Somashekhar is the Chairman of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), a meeting of BDA is scheduled for today morning in Bengaluru. “I will stay here, I’m not going back to Mumbai. I have resigned from the post of MLA but I’m still in Congress party,” rebel Karnataka Congress MLA ST Somashekar said after reaching Bengaluru.

Three city-crisis

By Thursday, the battle for Karnataka is being fought on three fronts. Catch a recap of what’s on where:

Delhi: SC hearing

The bench, comprising of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, hear the plea filed by the rebel MLAs. “Speaker has acted as a partisan and mala fide manner in the present case in order to protect the Govt. in power which is in a minority” alleges the petition.

Appearing before the bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, on behalf of the MLAs said that the MLAs were apprehensive that they “May be forced to vote” in the favour of the ruling alliance if the resignations are not accepted.

The plea has been filed by MLAs Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, HD Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda.

The matter has also kept both house of the Parliament, which is currently in session, in upheaval. The Congress has accused the BJP of bulldozing democracy by keeping MLAs in ‘illegal confinement’ to destabalise the coalition government in Karnataka.

Mumbai: Hotel drama

Senior Congress leader and party’s chief troubleshooter DK Shivakumar was deported to Bengaluru late on Wednesday night after being detained by Mumbai Police for allegedly violating the Section 144 imposed in the Powai area of the city. DK Shivakumar had flown from Bengaluru to Mumbai early on Wednesday morning to try and placate the rebel MLAs staying at Renaissance Hotel in Powai. However, the MLAs wrote to Mumbai Police, alleging threat to life, and had Shivakumar barred form entering the hotel. The senior leader continued to stay put for several hours and was eventually escorted to a rest house for detention and later to Mumbai airport.

AICC has filed an FIR against ‘illegal confinement of rebel Karnataka Congress MLAs at a Powai hotel’.

Bengalauru: Meetings and dharnas

As the crisis deepens, the Congress and JD (S) legislators will convene a meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the future course of action. Bengaluru witnessed high-octane drama on Wednesday as BJP-led by BS Yeddyurappa met with Governor and staked majority claim at the government, while Congress leaders Dinesh Gundu and Ghulam Nabi Azad were detained during protest.

Where does Karnataka government stands: Numbers

Thirteen MLAs — 10 of the Congress and three of the JD(S) — submitted their resignation to the Speaker’s office on July 6 triggering a fresh political crisis in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state. Another Congress MLA R Roshan Baig resigned on Tuesday.

The ruling coalition’s total strength is 116 (Congress-78), JD(S)-37 and BSP-1, besides the Speaker.

With the support of the two independents, who on July 8 resigned from the ministry, the BJP has 107 MLAs in the 224-member House, where the half-way mark is 113.

If the resignations of the 14 MLAs are accepted, the coalition’s tally will be reduced to 102. The Speaker also has a vote.

Updated: July 11, 2019 — 8:41 am