Byrathi Basavaraj, Rebel Karnataka Lawmaker, Says Will Meet Speaker At 4 pm

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14 lawmakers, including those of Congress, JD(S), independents, have been staying at the hotel (File)

Mumbai: 

The rebel Karnataka lawmakers, who are staying at a Mumbai hotel, said they would meet the state assembly speaker on Thursday, as directed by the Supreme Court, but would not withdraw their resignations.

The top court on Thursday allowed 10 rebel lawmakers of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition in Karnataka to meet the assembly speaker at 6 pm to convey their decision to resign to him.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Karnataka assembly speaker to take a decision on the resignation of the lawmakers during the course of the day.

Reacting to the court’s directive, rebel lawmaker Byrathi Basavaraj, who is staying at the Renaissance Hotel in Powai along with his other dissident colleagues, told reporters that they would meet the Karnataka Assembly speaker by 4 pm.

“We respect the Supreme Court’s directives. We will meet the speaker today itself by 4 pm and tender our resignations. We will not withdraw our resignations,” he said.

“The BJP is not behind our decision. It has nothing to do with the BJP,” Mr Basavaraj said, on being asked whether the BJP was behind their decision to resign from the Karnataka Assembly.

Fourteen lawmakers — including those of the Congress, the JD(S) and independents — have been staying at the hotel after resigning from the Karnataka Assembly and withdrawing support to the coalition government in the southern state.

On Wednesday, senior Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar was prevented by police from entering the hotel when he insisted on meeting the rebel lawmakers, in a desperate bid to pull the Congress-JD(S) government back from the brink of collapse.

He was later detained and sent back to Bengaluru.

The ruling coalition in the southern state faces the threat of losing its majority if the resignations of the rebel lawmakers are accepted.

The coalition’s total strength is 116 (Congress 78, JD-S 37, BSP one), besides the speaker.

The monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature is scheduled to commence from Friday.

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