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Saturday, December 07, 2019

Karnataka bypolls: Filing of nominations begin, disqualified MLAs await SC verdict

Meanwhile, Congress legislative party leader Siddarmaiah on Sunday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking an appointment to "apprise breakdown of Constitutional Machinery in Karnataka."

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: November 11, 2019 10:40:16 am
Karnataka politics disqualified MLAs bypolls nomination filing Supreme Court verdict Yediyurappa Amit Shah audio clip leaked The disqualified MLAs have moved the Supreme Court seeking postponement of the bypolls. (File)

With the filing of nominations to 15 legislative constituencies in Karnataka scheduled to begin on Monday, the disqualified MLAs — 17 in total from Congress and JD(S) — will not learn till Wednesday the Supreme Court verdict on their pleas challenging the Speaker’s decision to disqualify them.

Citing anti-defection laws for disqualification, then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar had stated that the disqualified MLAs cannot contest elections until the end of the current assembly session in 2023.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana on October 25 had reserved its verdict in the disqualification case.

With the byelections to 15 Karnataka assembly constituencies scheduled to be held on December 5, the Election Commission (EC) has earmarked the dates for filing nominations from November 11 to 18. While the EC will scrutinise nominations on November 19, the last date to withdraw nominations is November 21

Citing the EC schedule, the disqualified MLAs on Friday had moved the apex court seeking postponement of the bypolls. The court agreed to hear their fresh plea on November 13.

The Congress, on the other hand, has decided to plead before the apex court to not postpone the bypolls. It can be recalled that the Congress has been opposing the “late enforcement” of the model code of conduct in scheduled from November 11, even when the bypolls were announced on September 27.

Congress seeks President’s appointment to ‘apprise constitutional machinery’ in Karnataka

Meanwhile, the Congress continued to voice their protest over Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for their alleged involvement in orchestrating the resignation of 17 MLAs in July 2019.

Congress legislative party leader Siddarmaiah on Sunday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking an appointment to “apprise breakdown of Constitutional Machinery in Karnataka.”

In the two-page letter, the leader of opposition in the Karnataka legislative assembly also mentioned the “leaked” audio and video clip of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s speech at a core committee meeting of the BJP’s state unit.

In the audio clip, Yediyurappa has purportedly cited party leader Amit Shah’s support for the rebels to justify the decision to field them and expressed unhappiness over opposition within the party on the issue.

Citing this and 17 disqualified MLAs kept in “captive detention for two and half months” in hotels outside the state without allowing them to meet their family and to attend the budget session in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah has requested the president for time to meet in person.

“The BJP has used dubious and illegal methods like misusing CBI, Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate to induce and coerce the said legislators, which is evident from the speech of Sri B S Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka,” a part of the two-page letter reads.

Meanwhile, the Congress on October 31 released its first list of eight candidates for the coming bye-elections with their former coalition partner JD(S) and the ruling BJP yet to announce candidates.

When contacted, a BJP spokesperson told Indianexpress.com that the party’s candidate list for the bypolls will be published after the SC pronounces its order on Wednesday.

Though 17 constituencies have fallen vacant, the EC has not notified bypolls for Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Maski constituencies as litigations connected to them are pending in court.

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