Karnataka BJP, which has been claiming that the party had no role in the resignation of 17 disqualified Congress- JD(S) legislators, welcomed them to join the party after the Supreme Court verdict.
“17 disqualified MLA’s are keen to join BJP and will be joining the party on November 14, 10.30 am in Bengaluru in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel,” Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan CN said.
Karnataka MLAs’ disqualification case: BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel @nalinkateel said the party’s core committee would meet on Wednesday evening, to decide the next course of action. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/0vKMupNmpy
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) November 13, 2019
Few disqualified MLAs along with Ashwath Narayan met BL Santosh, BJP National General Secretary (Organisation), in New Delhi after the verdict. Meanwhile, reacting to the verdict, Nalin Kumar Kateel said the state BJP would hold a core committee meeting on Wednesday evening to decide on the next course of action.
When reporters asked about giving party tickets to the disqualified MLA’s, Ashwath Narayan said, “They are our friends and they are joining the BJP in good faith.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision disqualifying the 17 MLAs. However, the apex court set aside the portion of the order by the then Speaker by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Legislative Assembly’s term in 2023.
Former JD(S) MLA from Hunsur A H Vishwanath declared Ramesh Jarkiholi as the leader of disqualified MLAs. “I will contest bypolls from Hunsur. I am confident of winning the elections to become a minister in the BJP government in Karnataka,” he said.
Ramesh Jarkiholi, the former MLA from Gokak, announced that the 17 disqualified MLA’s were joining the BJP. “We had a meeting with senior BJP leaders and on Thursday we all (17 MLA’s) are joining the BJP. We will contest the elections and are confident of winning,” he said.
When asked about getting BJP tickets for the disqualified MLAs to contest bypolls in their respective constituencies, Jarkiholi said, “A final decision will be taken after discussions with BJP leaders on Thursday after we join officially to the BJP party.”
With the SC ruling, the disqualified MLAs can now contest the forthcoming bypolls, which is scheduled to be held on December 5.
The disqualified MLAs are: Pratap Gowda Patil, BC Patil, Shivram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, N Munirathna, K Sudhakar and MTB Nagaraj, Shrimant Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli and R Shankar (all Congress). JD(S) members who faced action are K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and KC Narayana Gowda.