The Supreme Court today gave a reprieve to Karnataka's HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JD(S) coalition government as it ruled there would be no decision on the resignation of dissident lawmakers who threaten the government's survival. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the matter required a detailed hearing and schedule it for further hearing on Tuesday. "The matter to be heard on Tuesday and status quo will remain on the legislators," the Supreme Court said after hour-long arguments involving the lawyers for the rebels, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
The 11-day monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature began today with the coalition government on a sticky wicket following resignation of 18 of its lawmakers. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy declared that he was ready to seek a trust vote to prove his majority on the floor of the house, and asked the Speaker to fix a time.
On Thursday, 10 of the 18 rebel Karnataka lawmakers met Assembly Speaker and submitted their resignation, but their resignations have not been accepted so far. "There is a feeling that I am deliberately holding back the resignations. They say that I intentionally refrained from meeting them when they visited my office on July 6 without an appointment. But the truth is, I had to leave early. Being a Sunday, I had prior commitments," he said.
The Congress has asked all it's lawmakers to appear for the Assembly Session, failing which the anti-defection law will be applied against them.
The HD Kumaraswamy-led Karnataka coalition, which came to power in May last year, is hanging on to power by the fingernails after 18 resignations since last week.
The coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 if these resignations are accepted 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.