Apex Court verdict gives BJP a breather

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on November 13, 2019

Party needs to convince cadre to accommodate disqualified MLAs, contest by-polls

The Supreme Court verdict upholding the disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs but allowing them to contest the Assembly by-elections on December 5 is being seen as throwing a lifeline for the BJP which runs a minority government in the State.

Emboldened by the verdict, all the 17 disqualified MLAs (14 from Congress and the rest from the JD-S) are expected to join the BJP on Thursday which, political observers say, could either benefit or go against the party if all of them are given tickets to contest the by-polls.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had declared earlier that all the disqualified MLAs who had backed the party to return to power, will be given party tickets. The BJP needs to win a minimum of eight seats out of the 15 going to polls to increase its tally in the Assembly to 115.

Analysts say that the BJP should feel confident about winning the required number of seats as voters have bitter memories of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government’s performance. Also, both the Congress and the JD(S) have decided to contest the elections separately.

The BJP is understood to have started the process of shortlisting the names of the candidates to recommend them to the party’s central leadership for approval. The last date for filing nominations is November 18.

Reaction to SC verdict

Former Speaker Ramesh Kumar, who ruled the disqualification, told reporters that he welcomes the decision of the apex court. Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly and the Congress Legislature Party head Siddaramaiah tweeted that the verdict exposes the moral bankruptcy of the BJP national leaders and that Operation Kamala (to lure away legislators from the Opposition) was a reality and was a shameful act.

Published on November 13, 2019

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