Two days after the Congress-JD(S) coalition government lost the trust vote, Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three MLAs till the end of the term of current House in 2023 under the anti-defection law. The Speaker said he would take a call on the remaining 14 cases in a “couple of days”.
The Speaker disqualified the legislators after he was convinced that the resignations by Independent MLA R Shankar from Ranebennur constituency and Congress’ Ramesh Jarkiholi from Gokak (Belagavi) and Mahesh Kumathalli from Athani (Belgaum) were not voluntary and genuine. Follow Karnataka LIVE UPDATES here.
Kumar also ruled that the trio cannot contest or get elected to the assembly till the end of the term of the House under the anti-defection law. “They have violated the provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law) and therefore are disqualified,” he said.
The Speaker also said he would take a decision on the remaining 14 cases in a “couple of days”.
Earlier in the day, Kumar said he would use his discretion and uphold the faith the Supreme Court has placed in him. He said there was no further opportunity for the rebel MLAs to appear before him and it was a closed chapter now, adding, “law is same for everyone whether it is a labourer or President of India.”
“Yes..the court has left to my discretion (to decide on resignation), I have discretion, I will work accordingly and will uphold the faith that the Supreme Court has expressed in me,” Kumar said.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday gave the Assembly Speaker the freedom to decide on the resignation of the 15 MLAs within such time-frame as considered appropriate by him.
Without providing details on the next course of action, Kumar in response to a question said, when MLAs resign according to article 190 (3)(b) and 35th amendment to the Constitution, the Speaker can call them for inquiry. “I had called, they did not appear, that’s all,” he said.
Meanwhile, the suspense over the government formation continued even as a group of leaders met party chief Amit Shah to discuss the political developments in the state. State unit chief B S Yeddyurappa, who is waiting in the wings for a fourth term as chief minister, also held several rounds of internal meetings.
However, taking a dig at the saffron party, Karnataka caretaker Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said no one can give a stable government in the state in the present political scene.
“Whether you focus on the developmental activities or the by-elections at 20 to 25 places, an atmosphere created by the BJP? We cannot assume that the government will remain stable even after the elections,” Kumaraswamy told reporters.
Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah rubbished reports he had instigated the rebels to resign and destabilise the coalition government. Hitting out at media houses for peddling “false news”, Siddaramaiah said he would give them a befitting reply if they repeat the allegation in front of him.
“The rebel MLAs are trying to shift the blame on me after widespread public backlash against them for betraying and back-stabbing both the electorate and the party. Everything will be clear when the dust settles but by then they would have bitten the dust,” he tweeted.