Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar resigns

Bengaluru: Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar resigned from the legislative post on Monday, 14 months after he was unanimously elected as the Speaker.

“I am resigning from this august post as Speaker of the state legislative Assembly for personal reasons. I thank all the members for cooperating with me during my 14-month long tenure in this chair,” Kumar told the legislators in Kannada and left the House.

Before resigning, the 70-year-old veteran Congress lawmaker from Kolar assembly segment, about 100 km east of Bengaluru, presided over the proceedings that included the BJP’s Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa moving and winning the confidence motion by voice vote, approving the finance bill for the state budget for fiscal 2019-20 and its appropriation estimates.

“As I have to rush to Hyderabad to attend the last rites of Congress veteran Jaipal Reddy, who passed away on Sunday, I seek the permission of all the members to leave the House, handing over the chair to Deputy Speaker Krishna Reddy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

Though Kumar has been in the spotlight throughout this month for his conduct inside and outside the Assembly during the political crisis that gripped the southern state, his decision to disqualify 17 rebel legislators of the Congress and the JD-S on July 25 and July 28 made him controversial. The rebels and the BJP criticised him, terming his decision one-sided, bad in law and against the spirit of the Constitution, especially the provisions of the 10th schedule or the anti-defection law.