Now at Pune resort, Karnataka’s disqualified MLAs to challenge speaker order
Hours after Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar ordered the disqualification of 14 Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) legislators from Karnataka, the lawmakers said they will approach the Supreme Court to challenge the decision.
One of the rebel Karnataka MLAs AH Vishwanath said the decision by Ramesh Kumar is against the rules and will be challenged in the Supreme Court on Monday.
Vishwanath, along with other MLAs, has been camping at Aamby Valley at Lonavala near Pune, days after the rebellion against the HD Kumaraswamy government, which then lost the trust vote. The coalition government losing the trust vote in the assembly enabled Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yediyurappa to be appointed as the chief minister on Thursday.
Following the new government being sworn-in, the Karnataka Speaker on Sunday disqualified 14 more rebel MLAs -- 11 from the Congress and three from the JD(S) -- under the anti-defection law till the end of the current term of the House in 2023. Earlier, Kumar had disqualified three rebel MLAs.
BS Yediyurappa is widely seen to have an edge at Monday’s floor test and Sunday’s disqualification order will not really alter the numbers in the assembly when Yediyurappa stands in the assembly for the headcount on Monday. The BJP has 105 MLAs and can count on one more lawmaker’s support.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s disqualification order does, however, end any possibility that some of the 14 rebels could be persuaded by the Congress-JDS team to change their mind at a later date and vote against the freshly minted chief minister BS Yediyurappa.
“He can’t disqualify us on the ground that we did not come to the House based on whip served by the party. We have decided to move court against the decision by challenging it in the Supreme Court on Monday,” Vishwanath said over the phone adding that the decision to approach the SC has been taken by all the disqualified MLAs. The MLAs were previously staying at a hotel in Mumbai though they shifted base near Pune a week ago.