Rebel Karnataka MLAs take chartered plane for Shirdi temple darshan

Congress increasing BJP’s membership: Kerala CM’s jibe at party’s political crisis

Amid speculations of a cabinet re-shuffle in Goa on Friday, Speaker Michael Lobo said that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was unhappy with functioning of certain ministers.

The rebel MLAs returned to the hotel here on late Thursday night after meeting the Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in Bengaluru.

Taking all these aspects and the incomplete facts before it into consideration, there was a need for further hearing, it said. His lawyer, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, said the resignations were an attempt to bypass possible disqualification.

Rohatgi alleged that the speaker has not decided on the resignations of the lawmakers and the idea behind keeping the issue alive and pending was to bind them with the party whip. "If he can't decide on resignations, then it is a brazen case of contempt".

Kumar had made the same point on Thursday, while questioning the court's powers to issue directives to a Speaker on the discharge of his or her Constitutional duties. The Speaker, however, moved the apex court later in the day seeking a recall of the order as it had been passed ex-parte.

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But Kumar on Friday sought more time arguing that parallel disqualification proceedings had been pending against some of the rebels since February and he needed to sort that out first before deciding on the resignations. "He can't be maligned and lampooned like this", he added.

Ten of the 15 Congress MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, switched sides and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday. They want to push development work in the state, he said.

"Speaker has the responsibility to satisfy himself that resignations were voluntary". The Speaker was bound to comply with the court's order, Rohtagi said. He also questioned the maintainability of petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India since no fundamental rights of the petitioners (10 rebel MLAs) under Part III of the Constitution was violated.

According to The News Minute, the MLAs who entered the speaker's office were Ramesh Jarkiholi, Munirathna Naidu, Byrathi Basavaraj, S.T. Somashekhar, B.C. Patil, K. Gopalaiah, Shivaram Hebbar, Narayana Gowda, A.H. Vishwanath, Prathap Gouda Patil and Mahesh Kumatahalli.

The coalition government, which has been shaky since it came into being previous year after a post-poll arrangement in the wake of a hung verdict, is facing a serious crisis now with 16 MLAs - 13 of the Congress and three of the JD (S) - resigning from the Assembly.

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