SC status quo order evokes mixed feelings in BJP  

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday said he would seek a trust vote and asked Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to fix the time for it. (PTI Photo)

The Congress-JD(S) coalition and the BJP have both claimed advantage over the Supreme Court’s directive to maintain status quo on the 10 rebel MLAs. But on the inside, the saffron party appears to be on the backfoot. 

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa welcome the order. “As per the Supreme Court order, the Speaker can’t take a decision on the resignation or disqualification of the 10 MLAs. So, even the whip will not apply to them. This is a morale booster for the 10 MLAs,” Yeddyurappa, the Leader of the Opposition, said. 

According to sources, however, the BJP expected a more favourable outcome from the Supreme Court. “We expected the court to fix a timeline for the Speaker to take a decision on the resignation of the rebel MLAs. Or, we hoped an order to the effect that the resignations would be deemed accepted,” a BJP legislator said. 

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah did not specifically comment on the Supreme Court order, but reiterated his point that the Speaker was supreme when it comes to dealing with the anti-defection law. “The anti-defection law is clear. When it comes to the MLAs, it’s the Speaker who should accept their resignation or decide on their disqualification,” said Siddaramaiah, who also chairs the Coalition Coordination Committee. 

He backed Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s decision to take a floor test to prove his majority. When asked if the coalition had the required number, Siddaramaiah retorted: “Without confidence, will anyone move a vote of confidence?” 

The Congress, he said, was in talks with rebel legislators who have tendered resignation. “We’re talking to all of them, except R Roshan Baig who is suspended from the party.” 

The BJP is understood to have been taken aback after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy volunteered for a floor test. “Why is the BJP moving its MLAs to a resort? They’re also afraid. They don’t trust their MLAs. They know they have black sheep,” Siddaramaiah sneered. 

 

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