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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

After 4-month roller-coaster, 16 out of 17 Karnataka rebels join BJP

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, state BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel and National General Secretary in charge of Karnataka, P Muralidhar Rao were among those who welcomed them into the party fold.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2019 12:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A day after the Supreme Court paved the way for them to contest the December 5 Assembly bypolls in Karnataka, 16 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators on Thursday joined the BJP
A day after the Supreme Court paved the way for them to contest the December 5 Assembly bypolls in Karnataka, 16 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators on Thursday joined the BJP(ANI/Twitter)
         

Sixteen Karnataka rebels, who had in July resigned from the Congress and the JD(S), joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, capping months of ups and downs during which they were sequestered in resorts, disqualified from Assembly and engaged in a legal battle.

The shift to the saffron party came a day after the Supreme Court upheld their disqualification by the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar but paved the way for them to contest the December 5 bypolls when 15 seats will vote.

While upholding their disqualification, the apex court set aside the portion of the orders by Kumar according to which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the current Assembly’s term in 2023.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, state BJP chief Nalin Kumar Kateel and National General Secretary in charge of Karnataka, P Muralidhar Rao were among those who welcomed them into the party fold.

The disqualified Congress MLAs who joined BJP are are: Pratap Gowda Patil (Maski), B C Patil (Hirekerur), Shivram Hebbar (Yellapur), S T Somashekar (Yeshwanthpur), Byrati Basavaraj (K R Puram), Anand Singh (Vijayanagara), N Munirathna (R R Nagar), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad), Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Mahesh Kumatalli (Athani) and R Shankar (Ranibennur).

JD(S) members who joined the party are: K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), AH Vishwanath (Hunsur) and KC Narayana Gowda (K R Pet).

Bypolls to 15 of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs, whose resignation and absence from the trust vote had lead to the collapse of H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in July, will be held on December 5.

Of the 15 constituencies, 12 were represented by Congress and three by JD(S).

However, R Roshan Baig, a disqualified Congress legislator from Shivajinagar, was not inducted into the party on Thursday. Interestingly Baig, a seven-time legislator, had on Wednesday said he will be joining BJP along with the other legislators.