Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party President BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court’s interim ruling on the pleas filed by the state’s rebel MLAs, calling it a “victory of the Constitution and democracy”, ANI reported.
Yeddyurappa claimed that Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had lost his majority and must resign on Thursday, when the Assembly holds a trust vote. Welcoming the verdict, he called it a “moral victory for the rebel MLAs”.
Since July 1, sixteen legislators, including the 15 who moved the top court, have stepped down from their posts, plunging the state into a political crisis. They belong to the ruling coalition of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular).
Earlier in the day, the top court left it to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to decide on the resignations within an appropriate time frame, but ordered that they should not be compelled to attend the proceedings of the House.
The disgruntled legislators told reporters that there was no question of attending the Assembly. “We all are together, we stand by our decision,” they said.
State Congress Working President Eshwar Khandre also welcomed the order and said he was hopeful that the MLAs would return to the party and help the coalition government win the floor test, News9 reported. However, Congress’ national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the ruling set a “terrible precedent”.
“SC’s order nullifying the whip, and by extension operation of Constitution’s 10th Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent, he tweeted. “Blanket protection to MLAs, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard of.”
The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, commonly known as the anti-defection law, provides for the disqualification of legislators for violating the party whip, as long as the number of legislators doing so is fewer than two-thirds of their legislative party.
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