10 rebel Goa Cong MLAs formally join BJP in Delhi

Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru

"Nadda ji has asked all the MLAs to work for the welfare of the state and wished them all the best", he informed. "There is no procedure for it".

After the intervention of the Supreme Court Thursday, the high-voltage political drama in Karnataka came to an end.

The Goa crisis has emerged as the Congress fights for survival in Karnataka, where its coalition with the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) is dangerously close to a collapse after 18 exits.

Chacko, in his application, said that a resignation had the same effect as defecting from a party and that the MLAs were "bought or persuaded to resign by payment of enormous sums of money".

BJP sources also said that Revenue Minister and Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte could also be dropped from the cabinet along with Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude, in order to accommodate some Congress rebels into the ministry.

After the poll debacle, Roshan Baig, a former Karnataka minister who was one of the senior Congress leaders to resign recently, had attacked some senior party leaders like K.C. Venugopal and Siddaramaiah for the poor performance.

The matter has been mentioned before the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The Congress-JD (S) government in Karnataka is in a turmoil after several MLAs, mostly of the Congress, resigned from the Assembly, threatening the stability of the ruling dispensation.

Senior advocate Devdutt Kamath said in the application the Speaker has submitted that the rule permits him to decide the application seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs.

The MLAs told the bench on Friday that the Speaker had not taken any decision on their move to step down, adding that he had no immunity with regard to the acceptance of the resignations. He added that the court could not direct the Speaker to decide on disqualification proceedings in a particular manner and within a time frame.

"It is only after such enquiry/process that the satisfaction of the Speaker can be reached", he submitted.

The petitioners had sought directions to the Speaker to accept their resignations and restrain him from disqualifying the legislators. Also to be considered would be the question whether in a situation where resignations by MLAs and disqualification proceedings are pending against the same MLAs, the Speaker is obligated under the Constitution to decide the disqualification issue in the first instance.

The Speaker submitted that the rebel MLAs who have approached the apex court have cast aspersions questioning his integrity which are completely "false and frivolous". On reports that the chief secretary has been allegedly asked by the governor's office not to take any major policy decisions, he said he was not aware of it.

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