Bangalore: The Karnataka Speaker KG Bopaiah accepted the resignations of 13 MLAs who owe allegiance to former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday night. This has worsened the crisis for the Bharatiya Janata Party government, which is now left with support of only 108 MLAs in the 223 member Assembly.
The thirteen MLAs had met the Speaker in his office at Vidhan Soudha, the State secretariat, Tuesday morning and rendered their resignations from the Assembly membership in person. With the acceptance of resignation of the MLAs, the BJP now has a strength of 105, Congress 71, JDS 26, independents seven (one of whom is supporting the Government and is in the Ministry) and the Speaker.
After the resignations were submitted in the morning, the Assembly Secretary P Omprakasha issued a statement announcing acceptance of resignation of one of the MLAs, Thippeswamy, even as suspense remained over the fate of others'. The remaining 12 MLAs stayed put in the Speaker's office insisting that their resignations be accepted.
One of them, B P Harish, told reporters that the Speaker was seeking legal opinion with regard to their resignations. Harish said the 12 MLAs would resort to dharna, even continuing in the night, and would not leave the Speaker's chamber till the resignations were accepted.
The Speaker's office let it be known that it is consulting legal experts in the Lok Sabha secretariat with regard to the resignation letters. Former Minister Shobha Karandlaje said they had to wait for 11 hours before the Speaker accepted the resignations.
"..very sad what the Government did. Whole government is controlling the Speaker. It's an unhealthy development," Karandlaje said. Those who tendered resignations to their assembly membership today are: CM Udasi, Shobha Karandlaje, BP Harish, Chandrappa, SI Chikkangoudar, Nehru Olekar, Sunil Vallyapure, Vittal Katakadonda, G Shivanna, H Halappa, Basavaraj Patil Attur, Thippeswamy and Suresh Gowda Patil.
Karnataka Janata Party sources said another BJP MLA, Tarikere Suresh, who had also announced his resignation on January 23, was away in the pilgrim town of Shirdi and could not personally submit the papers on Tuesday. The rebel MLAs had tried to submit their resignation on Saturday but in vain as the Speaker was not in station, upset over which they rushed to the Raj Bhavan and submitted their letters to Governor H R Bhardwaj who, however, said it was in the domain of the presiding officer.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)