Ever since more than 15 legislators handed in their resignations and flew to Mumbai, the state’s politics has been taking a new turn every day, evoking disgust. Expressing their outrage the state’s conscience keepers Devanoora Mahadeva and H.S. Doreswamy wrote a letter to the speaker Ramesh Kumar asking him to take appropriate action. In this context, Naanugauri.com interviewed Devanoora Mahadeva.
NG: Why did you think of writing a letter to the Speaker, Sir?
DM: The media has been portraying the politics around the disappearance of the state’s MLAs as high drama. But what is really happening is filthy drama. Do you know what is actually transpiring now? It is the squeezing out of the life of the anti-defection law. In one way or another, our courts, the governor and the politicians are all responsible for this. What is increasing day by day is the doubt whether these people have any belief in or any respect for the constitution or the courts. Hence I felt that I shouldn’t keep quiet.
NG: Why did you write specifically to the speaker?
DM: See, some are conducting an operation here. Some are getting the operation done on them. Finally, where does this take us? We have been forced to hang our heads in shame because of this resort politics. Seeing the speaker’s words and actions it felt like he would manage this appropriately keeping a conscience. Hence our prayers were directed to him. More importantly, there is a feeling that the speaker is the custodian of the assembly as well as the legislators. This has been said many times in discussions in the legislative assembly. If he is a custodian of the legislators directly then indirectly he should also be the custodian of the voters who chose those legislators, a custodian of their right to choose. Hence we wrote a letter to him.
NG: Can one say that the legislators had no right to resign?
DM: Absolutely not. We never said that no one should resign. But it is fair isn’t it to ask those legislators to stay with the people till their resignations are accepted? Don’t you feel that these elected legislators are accountable to their voters? Isn’t this morally right too? The message that is being sent out by them sitting in a resort, in a different state, without even the guarantee of sticking to their decision is that there is some other immoral interest involved in this or that someone has kept them there against their will.
NG: What do you think should be done to stop this Sir?
DM: It should be made mandatory that people who resign should stay among their voters. We have the belief that the Speaker will bring in this new tradition. It’s true that there is no such law. We can’t change all this by only following the legal handbook. But, within today’s context of unruly, sycophantic and egotistical politicians, the speaker should make a decision that puts the fear about honour and respect in these politicians is what I feel.
Translated from Kannada into English by Rashmi Munikempanna