Karnataka: Speaker disqualifies 3 rebel MLAs

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on July 25, 2019

Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar disqualified all three MLAs under 10th Schedule of the Anti-defection law   -  THE HINDU

Says he needs more time to decide on legislators who skipped Assembly session

Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three MLAs, and has sought time to take a suitable decision on another 14 MLAs.

Reading out the decision, Kumar said he has disqualified rebel Congress MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli and Independent MLA R Shankar (who had merged his party the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party with the Congress).

The three MLAs are now disqualified for the entire term of current Assembly. They were disqualified under the 10th Schedule of the Anti-defection law. “They cannot be part of this Assembly in any form...They cannot contest till 2023,” said the Speaker.

“I still have many cases with me and I may require more days to act on them, I will come with others (the cases) in a couple of days,” he added.

Reacting to the development, KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao tweeted: “Speaker #RameshKumar disqualifies 3 MLA’s, R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi & Mahesh Kumatalli for the entire term of the present Karnataka Vidhana Sabha. Wholeheartedly welcome the verdict. #VictoryForDemocracy.”

This decision of the speaker leaves the BJP in a state of uncertainty.

Earlier during the day, there were hectic behind-the-scenes parleys, with the BJP’s Chief Ministerial aspirant BS Yeddyurappa sending emissaries to party President Amit Shah and Working President JP Nadda to press for an early decision in his favour. Yeddyurappa is keen to stake claim to form the next government, but the central leadership is weighing all options, especially with regard to the 16 rebel MLAs whose resignations caused the fall of JD(S)-Congress government in the State. These MLAs have reportedly been made certain promises, including Cabinet berths.

Still, Yeddyurappa kept the pressure on with Karnataka BJP leaders, including Jagdish Shettar, Arvind Limbavali, Madhuswamy, Basavaraj Bommai and Yeddyurappa’s son Vijayendra, meeting the central leadership. The BJP is treading cautiously, as Kumar’s decision may have a serious bearing on the fate of the next government.

The State also needs to pass the Finance Bill before July 31. Sources said if a government is not in place before the month-end, then imposition of President’s rule may be a constitutional necessity for the passage of the Bill.

The HD Kumaraswamy government in the State fell on Tuesday after it failed to prove its majority. It lost the confidence vote, garnering just 99 votes with 105 against.

Meanwhile, caretaker Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy drove down to meet father-daughter duo Ramalinga Reddy and Soumya Reddy (both legislators) is seen as some hectic preparations to take on BJP. After meeting Reddy, Kumaraswamy told reporters the resignations of the rebel MLAs have pushed the State towards by-elections. Development has taken a back-seat and will suffer as focus will be on winning elections.

“Whether you focus on developmental activities or the by-elections at 20-25 places, an atmosphere created by the BJP? We cannot assume that the government will remain stable even after the elections,” he felt.

Kumaraswamy, has desisted from taking any public stance on the coalition, but only sought time to discuss on the issue. However, the collapse of the government has left them bitter and blaming each other.

AICC leader Rahul Gandhi’s tweet “From its first day, the Cong-JDS alliance in Karnataka was a target for vested interests, both within & outside, who saw the alliance as a threat & an obstacle in their path to power. Their greed won today. Democracy, honesty & the people of Karnataka lost.”

This is being interpreted in the state political circles as an indication that alliance may be over.

Published on July 25, 2019

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