Karnataka Speaker disqualifies 3 rebel MLAs who pulled down Kumaraswamy govt

Updated on Jul 25, 2019 09:58 PM IST

Speaker KR Ramesh said the three disqualified rebel MLAs ceased to be members of the 15th Legislative Assembly till its expiry in 2023.

Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar(ANI)
Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar(ANI)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Three rebel MLAs have been disqualified by Karnataka Speaker on Thursday, two days after coalition chief minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust motion in the Assembly.

Congress MLAs R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli stand disqualified from the current Assembly till the completion of its tenure in 2023, announced Speaker K R Ramesh.

“Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli have incurred disqualification from being members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in terms of 2 (1) (A) of the schedule X. Both the respondents, cease to be members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly from this date till the expiry of the term of this assembly.” The Speaker said.

KR Ramesh, had moments ago, also disqualified Karnataka MLA R Shankar for offering support to the BJP despite having merged his party KPJP with the Congress on June 25 this year.

Detailing the circumstances that formed the basis for his decision, the Speaker said, R Shankar had requested his party KPJP’s merger with the Congress on June 14 this year and the request was accepted by the Congress legislative party chief Siddaramaiah on the same day. The merger, according to the Speaker was formalised on June 25, when he issued a direction to consider R Shankar as a Congress MLA and to allot him a seat among the Congress law makers.

The Speaker went on to suggest that R Shankar fell foul of the anti-defection law, when he wrote to the Governor Vajubhai Vala, pledging his unequivocal support to the BJP on July 8. On Siddaramaiah’s complaint, Shankar was then asked to explain his conduct in a notice sent by the Speaker on July 17. In response, Shankar had sought four weeks time to reply.

The speaker said that all the three disqualified MLAs won’t be able to contest by polls to re-enter the House in its present term. He added that though he anticipated a court challenge to his ruling, it was “unlikely to help anyone” since his office was “a quasi judicial authority” and not an “exclusive judicial authority” .

K R Ramesh said he was studying the remaining complaints pertaining to disqualifications and may require a few more days to decide on them. “My judgement must be based on sound logic and evidence. This is why I have held back on those,” he said, adding that the order in which disqualification petitions and resignations were filed will have little bearing on the final outcome. “It is their conduct, the incidents and historical precedents that will be looked into before I arrive at an answer.” He said.

Karnataka Speaker was speaking to the press about the resignations from 15 MLAs and pleas from political parties to disqualify 17 MLAs.

While the Kumaraswamy government was voted out in the trust vote held in Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday, the Speaker had left the vexatious issues of resignations and disqualifications hanging.

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