Mumbai/Bengaluru: The disgruntled Congress MLAs Thursday said they would tender their resignation to the Assembly Speaker afresh, in accordance with the Supreme Court order.
Insisting they were still in Congress and have resigned only from the Assembly, the MLAs ruled out BJP's role in the entire episode. "According to the Supreme Court directive, we will reach Bengaluru and meet the honourable speaker.
Since the Apex court has directed us to tender resignations afresh, we are going there. There is no change (in our decision)," B A Basavaraja, Congress MLA from KR Puram in Bengaluru told reporters in Mumbai.
He rubbished allegations that the saffron party was behind the spate of resignations that threatened the existence of the coalition government and that the BJP-led government in Maharashtra was aiding them.
"Allegations have been made that the BJP government in Maharashtra is with us. We want to clarify that neither the BJP nor any other government is with us.
But we have sought protection from the government, which they have provided. There is no BJP role in it," Basavaraja said. Yashwantpur Congress MLA S T Somashekhar echoed similar views in Bengaluru.
"The speaker has given us in writing that it (resignation) is not in proper format. Hence, we will submit our resignation in the proper format before 6 pm," the MLA told reporters.
Somashekhar too insisted that he was very much in the Congress and has only resigned from the assembly. "I am still in Congress.... for our personal reasons, we have submitted our resignations, he said adding "We haven't switched to any other political party."
Welcoming the apex court order, Somashekhar said he would meet the Speaker and tender his resignation afresh before 6 pm. The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the 10 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka to meet the assembly Speaker at 6 pm to convey to him their decision to resign.
The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the Karnataka Assembly Speaker to decide on the resignation of the MLAs during the course of the day and intimate the court on Friday about the decision taken by him.
The court stated that the order pertained only to 10 MLAs who had petitioned and not the six others. If the 10 resignations are accepted, the number of MLAs in the ruling camp would get reduced to 106 sans the Speaker, while the BJP presently has 107 MLAs on its side. The halfway mark is 113 in the 224-member Assembly.