Soon after the Supreme Court allowed the 17 disqualified MLAs of Congress and JDS in Karnataka to contest the upcoming bypolls, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa welcomed the judgment and said the BJP would take a call on the issue of giving them tickets to contest next month’s bypolls after consulting the party leadership at Centre.
“We will begin campaigning for all 15 constituencies from tomorrow. 101 per cent, we are going to win all seats,” Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru.
The Supreme Court Wednesday decided to uphold the disqualification of 17 MLAs of Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) in Karnataka but struck down a portion of the then Speaker K R Ramesh’s order that barred them from contesting elections during the tenure of the current Assembly, which is until 2023.
With the SC ruling, the disqualified MLAs can now contest the forthcoming bypolls, which is scheduled to be held on December 5. The bye-elections will be held on 15 of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs
When asked how many disqualified MLAs would be given BJP tickets to contest the bypolls, Yediyurappa said, “Our core committee with the state party president today and a final decision will be taken by this (Wednesday) evening.” He added that the final decision will be taken only after consultation with the BJP’s central leadership. “I will discuss the matter with the national leadership after the Core Committee and a final decision will be taken then,” he said.
Reacting to the verdict, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly Siddaramaiah said, “The SC judgment proves that the MLAs defected the party with ulterior motives and hence their disqualification. The defection is not voluntary and not genuine. Once an MLA is elected in a democratic setup, they can’t switch parties as they wish.”
Later, taking a dig at the BJP, he wrote on Twitter, The decision of Hon. Supreme Court exposes the moral bankruptcy of @BJP4India leaders and the #disqualifiedmlas. #OperationKamala is now proved act & there is nothing more shameful than this. #Disqualifiedmlasverdict.”
It can be recalled that the Congress released its first list of eight candidates for the coming byelections to 15 Karnataka assembly constituencies on October 31, stealing a march over erstwhile coalition partner JDS and ruling BJP.