2019 Karnataka political crisis
In July 2019, several government members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India submitted their resignations to the speaker, which led to the fall of the then United Progressive Alliance government in Karnataka.
Assembly elections in 2018 resulted with the BJP emerging as the single largest party with 104 seats. The INC and JD(S) formed a majority coalition government after the election, with a combined 120 of the 224 seats. In 2019, general election the BJP led NDA won 26 out of 28 seats in Karnataka. The INC led UPA could manage to win only 2 seats.
On July 1, two members, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Anand Singh of the INC, submitted their resignations. Over the course of the next few days, the number of resignations increased to 13 from Congress and 3 from the JD(S).
The reaction of the coalition government was to attempt to convince the MLAs who had submitted their resignations to rescind them. Many of the MLAs fled to Mumbai, and directed the police not to permit Congress leaders to meet them. The government also attempted to induce the MLAs to return by offering cabinet posts; all twenty-one Congress ministers resigned on 8 July to ensure that a sufficient number of ministerial berths were available. It also requested that the speaker should disqualify those who had resigned under anti-defection legislation.
The speaker, K.R. Ramesh Kumar, did not immediately accept the resignations, on the grounds that he was constitutionally obliged to scrutinise them. Consequently, some of those who had submitted their resignations approached the Supreme Court, which on 12 July agreed to hear the case on 16 July, whilst ordering the speaker not to take any action in this connection until then. The order also required that no action should be taken to disqualify those members under anti-defection legislation.
At the 16 July hearing, Mukul Rohatgi, counsel for the MLAs who had submitted their resignations said that the speaker should be ordered to rule immediately on the resignations. Rohatgi argued that disqualification was a “mini-trial”, and so a decision on the resignations should take priority over one on disqualification. Rajeev Dhavan, who appeared on behalf of the Chief Minister of Karnataka, argued that the MLAs never met the speaker, and so the speaker should rule on their disqualifications first. Ranjan Gogoi, the Chief Justice, said that the court would have to balance the competing claims that the excuse of resignation could not be used to circumvent anti-defection measures, and that claims of defection should not be used to prevent resignation. He also said that the court would have to consider the extent to which it is permitted to issue directions to holders of other constitutional posts, such as that of the speaker of the assembly.
Members responsible for the CrisisEdit
14 INC and 3 JD(S) MLAs were responsible for the political crisis. 1 KPJP MLA also left the coalition government. After some days, one of the legislator from INC, Ramalinga Reddy, withdrew his resignation.
List of members who have taken back resignationEdit
|1.||BTM Layout||Ramalinga Reddy||Indian National Congress|
List of Disqualified MembersEdit
|1.||Kagawad||Srimanth Balasaheb Patil||Indian National Congress|
|4.||Yeswanthpur||S. T. Somashekhar|
|6.||Shivajinagar||R. Roshan Baig|
|8.||Hoskote||N. Nagaraju (M.T.B.)|
|9.||Hirekerur||B. C. Patil|
|11.||Maski (ST)||Pratap Gowda Patil|
|12.||Chikkaballapur||Dr. K. Sudhakar|
|14.||Mahalakshmi Layout||K. Gopalaiah||Janata Dal (Secular)|
|16.||Hunsur||Adagur H. Vishwanath|
|17.||Ranebennur||R Shankar||Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party|
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