Bengaluru: The Congress party has shifted the weight of the developing political crisis on the Karnataka legislative assembly speaker, even as the coalition government appears closer to collapse than it has been in the last one year.
In its legislature party meeting on Tuesday, the Congress resolved to move a disqualification petition against most of the rebel MLAs that would put the ball clearly in Speaker K.R.Ramesh Kumar’s court, the final authority on their resignations.
“The legislature party has decided to make a petition before the speaker seeking disqualification,” former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said.
Alleging anti-party activities and collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to bring down the government, Siddaramaiah said that it would even seek disqualification of the rebels from contesting elections for six years.
The resolution comes a day after the coalition said it would reshuffle the existing cabinet to accommodate some of the rebels in a last-ditch effort to save the government.
The Congress has asked the Speaker to act against its earlier petition against Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli and also sought stern action against the other legislators, currently lodged in a hotel in Mumbai.
The JD(S) has lodged all its remaining legislators in a resort outside Bengaluru to shield them from poaching. Kumar said that several citizens had lodged complaints against the rebels as they were adding to the troubles of a state reeling from one of its worst droughts and facing an acute drinking water shortage.