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Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah (Mint file)
Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah (Mint file)

Congress hails SC verdict on disqualification of Karnataka MLAs

  • It is a moral victory: Congress party’s leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah
  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld former Karnataka assembly speaker's decision to disqualify 17 rebel lawmakers

Bengaluru: The Congress party’s leader of the Opposition in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court’s order upholding the disqualification of 17 rebel legislators by the then assembly speaker, calling it a ‘moral’ victory.

Siddaramaiah said the apex court verdict was an acknowledgement that the 17 rebels did connive with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their resignations were not “voluntary and genuine". “The Supreme Court ruled that they (rebels) are disqualified. Is this not a setback?" he said at a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld former Karnataka assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify 17 rebel lawmakers. The bench, however, allowed the lawmakers to contest the upcoming by-polls, rejecting Kumar’s order to disqualify them till 2023 - the end of the tenure of the current assembly.

In July, the 17 rebel lawmakers, allegedly at the behest of the BJP, resigned, bringing down the 14-month old H.D.Kumaraswamy-led Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka and paved the way for the BJP to assume power in the state.

“I welcome the #SupremeCourt verdict. The hand of BJP in toppling the coalition govt is now clear. The involvement of @BSYBJP & @AmitShah is now proved. If BJP has any morality left, they should not give tickets to these disqualified MLA’s to contest," Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president said in a post on Twitter.

“We welcome the SC judgement in the Karnataka disqualification matter which vindicated INCs stand. It is a tight slap to the power hungry @BJP4India who orchestrated the political horse trading. Now will the @BJP4India humiliate themselves by giving tickets to disqualified MLAs?," K.C.Venugopal, general secretary of the Congress party, in-charge of organisation & Karnataka said on Twitter.

Though Yediyurappa has acknowledged his and BJP national president Amit Shah’s role in the entire resignation drama, the decision of the SC to allow the rebels to contest the by-polls comes a relief to the chief minister and his minority government that requires to win at least eight of the total 15 seats in the 5 December by-polls to continue in power.

“Our former speaker, K.R.Ramesh Kumar joined hands with Siddaramaiah, connived with him in this conspiracy (to debar the rebels from contesting the bypolls)," Yediyurappa said on Wednesday.

The chief minister said all the 17 rebels would come to Bengaluru this evening and the BJP, in its scheduled core committee meeting, would decide on the candidate list.

“The Hon. Supreme Court's decision to allow the disqualified MLAs of #Karnataka to contest the by-poll is a welcome step. It is not about politics, it is about constitutional rights which we all have to welcome," P Muralidhar Rao, national general secretary, BJP, posted on twitter.

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