‘Speaker supreme, but hasn’t been fair’, says Sadananda Gowda on Karnataka crisis
With the Karnataka crisis moving into the third week, Union minister Sadananda Gowda said assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar hasn’t been fair by insisting that the MLAs of the Congress and JD(S) who have resigned should show up in the House.Updated: Jul 22, 2019 17:06 IST
Union minister Sadananda Gowda on Monday said Karnataka assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar has not been fair while dealing with the resignation of 16 MLAs of the Congress and JD(S). In an interview to Hindustan Times, Gowda conceded that the Speaker was supreme in the assembly, but said it made no sense to prolong the crisis in the coalition government after the rebels MLAs have insisted that they would not withdraw their resignations and show up for the trust vote.
Question: As a senior leader of the BJP from Karnataka, what do you make of the current political situation there?
Answer: The Congress and JD(S) alliance, the whole world knows that they are not having sufficient numbers to show their majority on the floor of the House. And their own people, in both the parties, have left them openly declaring that that they will not come back and will not go to the House. This is a violation of constitutional provisions. Despite the constitutional authority, the Governor asking them to complete their process, they are simply prolonging it. I don’t think it is fair on the part of the coalition government to betray the people of Karnataka.
Q. The argument that the Speaker is asserting his constitutional authority?
Answer: Already the Supreme Court has come out with its judgment saying that they should not be pressurised and should not be forced to come to the House. They have already given a direction to the Speaker by an order a week ago. Time and again, simply switching on to the same issue, I don’t think it is fair on the part of the Speaker. I do concede that the Speaker is supreme but our judiciary also comes into play when there are certain things which are not obeyed by others in the administration.
Q. There are states though sir, like Punjab and Haryana, where the Speaker has sat on resignations for months?
Answer: I don’t want to comment anything on the other Speakers of other Houses. As far as Karnataka is concerned, the resignations when they should be disposed of, that is a separate thing. Here, the legislators who have left JD(S)S and Congress party have said they will never come back to the House. So, what is the fun in simply telling that disposal of their resignation letters is within his domain? Of course it is in his domain. But when they have openly declared everything, how can he force them to come? “Appear before me?“ I don’t think so.
Q. Your party seems to have a clear edge. Is it just a matter of time before BJP forms government?
Answer: That’s what the whole world says but the Speaker and the JD(S) and Congress people, say other things which are unacceptable to everybody.
Q. Who will be CM then?
Answer: Already party has declared that Yeddyurappa will be the Chief Minister. So I don’t think there is any other option when our party leaders from the Centre have declared him as the Chief Minister. He will be the CM and he should be.
Q: Doesn’t the party also have a rule sir, about people over 75?
Answer: For each and every rule, there is an exception. That is the jurisprudence of law. Before the elections, under the leadership of Yeddyurappa we became the single largest party. We got 104 seats. Even in Lok Sabha elections, again under Yeddyurappa, we got 25 plus one out of 28 seats. That shows he is the able leader in Karnataka. So automatically, it is quite obvious, that he will be Chief Minister.
Q: To those that say it is your moral duty to have fresh elections?
Answer: Out of 224 MLAs if 13 or 14 people resign, the whole burden shouldn’t be there on the people of Karnataka. We are suffering from droughts and we have so many problems. For the last few months, practically there was no administration. Now going for elections again and with their 45-day code of conduct, there will be no development works. Practically, in the hands of a minority government, they can’t take any decisions.
First Published: Jul 22, 2019 16:39 IST