Karnataka Speaker says Congress free to issue whip

Shocking the opposition, the Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, today, said the leader of Congress Legislature Party can exercise his authority on issues like whip against absentee members without any interference from his office.

“This Households Supreme Court in the highest esteem. Let me make it clear to the leader of Congress Legislature Party that this Office is not restraining you from exercising any of your authority. I’ve no role to play in that”, he said during the debate on the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy earlier in the day.

His statement holds significance in the wake of demand by Congress leaders in the House that a decision be taken first on the rebel Congress and JD-(S) MLAs who have skipped the House in defiance of party whips to them to attend the proceedings on Thursday in which a trust motion has been by moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy heading the coalition government.

They also contended that the Supreme Court had in its order on Wednesday spoken against the rebel MLAs being compelled to attend the proceedings when nobody had raised the issue their prayers before the court.

“If you intend to implead yourself as one of the respondents before the Supreme Court for amending this you are at liberty to do so. When a member chooses not to come, our attendants will not permit them to sign the register of attendance. The concerned member will not be entitled to draw any emolument that is meant for the member to be drawn for being present in the House,” Kumar said.

Addressing the House, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and legislator H K Patil outlined the significance of whip to MLAs. “Point of order can be raised not only when my right is violated. But, we can also raise it when the right of the house is violated. If people don’t abide by the Whip, then there won’t be any value to it. There will be a day when MLAs will not respect the Whip issued by either of parties”, Patil said.

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