Cong, JD(S) welcome Speaker’s decision disqualify 14 rebel MLAs

Bengaluru: The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) on Sunday welcomed Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify 14 more rebel MLAs.

“I welcome the decision of the Speaker to disqualify 14 MLAs. This honest decision of speaker will send strong signals for all the representatives in the country who might fall for @BJP4India’s trap,” Congress leader and former chief
minister Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Echoing similar sentiments, Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao also hailed the Speaker’s “historic” decision.

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“I congratulate the speaker on this historic decision. The disqualification of the 14 MLA’s from [?]@INCIndia and [?]@JanataDal_S, upholds the constitutional provisions of the 10th schedule,” Rao tweeted.

A tweet from the official handle of JD(S) said, “Speaker Ramesh Kumar has given a tough message to those who are going to destabilise democracy by disqualifying lawmakers who have violated the party whip by sacrificing the mandate for money and power. Our party welcomes the verdict.”

A day ahead of the trust vote to be tabled by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in the state Assembly, Kumar disqualified the 14 rebel lawmakers with immediate effect.

This is in addition to the three dissident MLAs he had disqualified on July 25.

Out of the 14 rebel MLAs, 11 of them are from Congress. The disqualified legislators include — Pratap Gowda Patil, BC Patil, Shivanand Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Shrimant Patil, BA Basavaraja, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, Muniratna, K Sudhakar and MTB Nagaraj.

The three MLAs disqualified are from JD(S) which include — AH Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Gopalaiah.

With the significant development, a total of 17 rebel MLAs from both parties have been disqualified by the Speaker. All the disqualified MLAs cannot contest elections until the expiry of the term of the 15th Legislative Assembly.

“Where have we reached? The way I am being pressurised to deal with the situation being a Speaker… All these things have pushed me into a sea of depression,” Kumar told reporters here before announcing his decision.

Talking about the Monday’s trust vote, the Speaker said, “BS Yediyurappa has asked me to oversee vote of confidence tomorrow. The Finance Bill is set to lapse on July 31. I appeal to all MLAs to appear for the session for the confidence motion.”

Earlier this month, the rebel MLAs had pulled out from the Congress-JD(S) coalition, plunging the coalition government into a minority in the 225-member Assembly, which led to a political crisis in the state.

After days of high-drama and heated debates, the government fell on Tuesday as it lost the trust vote in the House. Following the defeat, HD Kumaraswamy submitted his resignation to Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan, along with his cabinet ministers.

The defeat marked the end of an uneasy coalition that was formed after the assembly polls on May 23, 2018, which returned a hung verdict after three main parties in the state — Congress, BJP and the JD(S) contested against each other in the polls.

Yediyurappa took oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka on Friday.

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