Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three rebel MLAs, who withdrew support from the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government, ANI reported. This came two days after the coalition lost the floor test in the Assembly.
Congress MLAs R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli were disqualified from the Assembly till the completion of its tenure, the Speaker said. “Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli have incurred disqualification from being members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in terms of 2 (1) (A) of the schedule X,” Kumar was quoted as saying. “Both the respondents cease to be members of the Karnataka Legislative assembly from this date till the expiry of the term of this assembly.”
While disqualifying Shankar, the speaker had said that he was looking at the complaints against legislators who had resigned. “I have issues related to 17 MLAs with me, in which two are for disqualification and 15 of resignation, for which their party leaders expect disqualification too,” ANI quoted Kumar as saying.
The Speaker said Shankar had merged his Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party with the Congress in June this year, following which Kumar had notified on June 20 that he should be considered as a Congress MLA. “On July 8, he gave his resignation after which he wrote to me and the governor that he will support BJP unequivocally,” said Kumar. He said that Congress leader Siddaramaiah had filed a complaint against Shankar.
Kumar said the rebel lawmaker would now no longer be a member of the 15th Legislative Assembly till its expiry in 2023, the Hindustan Times reported.
The 14-month-old ruling coalition government of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had failed to prove its majority in a trust vote on Tuesday. The coalition lost the floor test after 99 MLAs voted in favour of it, but 105 legislators voted against it. Soon after, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met Governor Vajubhai Vala to submit his resignation.
State Bharatiya Janata Party President BS Yeddyurappa was expected to stake claim to form government immediately. A day after the floor test, he said he was awaiting instructions from the central leadership. Meanwhile, a delegation of leaders from the Karnataka unit of the BJP reached New Delhi on Thursday to meet party chief Amit Shah and Working President JP Nadda to discuss the political situation in the state.