Rebel MLAs will need Speaker nod to skip Assembly

Rebel MLAs will need Speaker nod to skip Assembly

Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. (DH Photo)

The Congress-JD(S) coalition appears to be scraping the bottom of the barrel to find legal options to counter the rebel legislators, who now have the option to abstain from the confidence motion coming up on July 18.

A delegation comprising Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and others held talks with Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar seeking clarification on the Supreme Court’s interim order.

Gowda, a former Law minister, pointed out that while the Apex court had stated that the rebel MLAs cannot be coerced into being present during the confidence motion, there was no relaxation given to existing House rules that require MLAs to seek leave of absence from the Speaker.

“The Supreme Court has said that attending or not attending is left to the MLAs, but Assembly rules state that such MLAs have to seek permission. We asked Speaker if this relaxation had been granted. He said they have to seek permission,” Gowda told reporters.

The interim order issued by the Supreme Court “indirectly” infringes on the rights of the Congress and JD(S) legislature parties, Gowda added.

“We were not even called by the Supreme Court and the order has restricted our rights. We have the right to impose a whip. We asked Speaker to clarify this, to which he said we were free to challenge it. He said if somebody violates the whip, it was for us to move a petition against the violators and he’d take a call on it later,” Gowda said.

To a question, he said that both parties were in favour of issuing a whip and a final decision was expected soon.