Decision on other rebel MLAs in ‘couple of days’: K’taka Speaker

After disqualifying three rebel Congress MLAs under the anti-defection law, Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar  said that he would decide on the rest of the cases on the individual basis “in a couple of days”.

Kumar held that the resignation by the three MLAs — Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli and R Shankar — were “not voluntary and genuine”. He made it clear that Jarkiholi, Kumatalli and Shankar, disqualified under the anti-defection law, will be unable to contest or get elected till the end of the term of the present House.

The Speaker’s decision on the disqualifications and resignations will be crucial in view of the numbers in the House and the formation of the next government.

Kumar said: “Everybody is watching my behaviour… If the finance bill not passed by July 31… it is my responsibility that such a financial impasse is not created.”

The Speaker had earlier said that if the Finance bill was not passed by July 31, the “government will come to a standstill and we will not be in a position to even pay salaries, such a necessity has come, what to do?”

Asked if the Finance Bill can be passed by a presidential order if the government is not formed by July 31, he said it cannot be done and either the suspension of the Assembly or President’s rule will have to be imposed.

The 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the Assembly, bringing to an end the three-week long power struggle triggered by the raft of resignations.

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