Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar, the Congres-JDS alliance's troubleshooter who went to Mumbai to convince the rebels to return to the alliance fold, exuded confidence today that the lawmakers would not quit the party from which they were elected to the legislature.
"I have confidence that they will have good sense and not leave party from which they have been elected," Mr Shivakumar was quoted by news agency ANI as saying after he returned to Bengaluru.
A group of 11 rebel lawmakers resigned last week and five more have quit since then. Speaker Ramesh Kumar, however, has not accepted any of the letters; if he does, the coalition will instantly dip below the half-way mark and the BJP can flaunt a majority.
Ten Karnataka lawmakers who allege their resignations haven't been accepted in an attempt to help the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition in the state flew to Bengaluru this evening after the Supreme Court ordered them to meet the Speaker.
The top court has ordered police protection for the rebel lawmakers and said the Speaker must decide today on whether the resignations stand.
Hours later, the Speaker also petitioned against the order and asked the court for time to examine the resignations, to decide whether they were coerced or voluntary.
When asked if the decision on resignation would be taken today, the Speaker was non-committal.
"I can't answer that question, it depends. But yes, I am duty-bound to meet the rebel MLAs at 6 pm," he said.
On Wednesday, the rebels refused to meet Mr Shivakumar who remained camped outside a five star hotel in Mumbai. He was stopped from entering the hotel after the legislators wrote to the Mumbai police seeking protection from him. He was later "escorted" to the airport by the police.
If the resignations stand, the Congress-JDS coalition's 118 members in the 224-seat state assembly will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two Independents, which takes its tally to 107.
With inputs from ANI
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