Karnataka Speaker being partisan, not right to challenge SC authority: Mukul Rohatgi
Appearing for 10 rebel MLAs from Karnataka, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday charged at assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, saying that he was acting in a "partisan manner" by not accepting the resignations. Mukul Rohatgi also asked Ramesh Kumar to not challenge the court authority.
Speaking to India Today TV, former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, said, "Karnataka Speaker is ducking and acting in a partisan manner. If MLAs say they want to resign, and it is voluntary, then what more is there to it? There is no procedure for it."
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka assembly Speaker to decide "forthwith" on Thursday about the resignation of 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) coalition MLAs, allowing them to meet him at 6 pm.
Hours after the order was passed, the Speaker's counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi approached the Supreme Court for modification of the direction asking him to decide the issue of the resignation in the course of the day. He also said that the Speaker has a Constitutional mandate to determine whether resignations were voluntary.
Reacting to the developments, Mukul Rohatgi said, "The Speaker is not right to challenge the Supreme Court's authority. The SC only asked the Speaker to grant audience to the MLAs. One MLA resigned on July 4, then July 6, and now 15 MLAs have decided [to resign]. It is not as if any MLA has been kept in a lockup."
Reacting to the Congress's allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was orchestrating the Karnataka coalition government collapse, Mukul Rohatgi said it was a "ploy of the party that has lost the majority".
About the possibility of remaining five MLAs approaching the court, the senior counsel hinted, "They could move court tactically on Friday if they are prepared with their resignations. Expect fireworks tomorrow."