Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 rebel legislators from the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress, reported PTI. With this, 17 MLAs who had resigned from the Assembly have been disqualified. All have been disqualified from the Assembly till the end of its term in 2023.

The Speaker’s move came a day before the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by BS Yediyurappa, will have to prove its majority in the House. After the disqualifications, the strength of the House is now 208, and the majority mark is 105 – the number the BJP has at present, reported NDTV.

Of the 14 MLAs who were disqualified, 11 are from the Congress – Pratap Gouda Patil, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj, Anand Singh, Roshan Baig, K Sudhakar, Muniratna, MTB Nagaraj and Shrimant Patil – and three are from the Janata Dal (Secular). The JD(S) legislators are H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Gopalaiah, reported News9.

Earlier, Kumar had disqualified three rebel MLAs – R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli – who had withdrawn support to the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government. Kumar had said the three MLAs’ resignations were “not voluntary and genuine”. “The whole world knows that...I have done my job to the dictates of my conscience.”

The 14-month-old ruling coalition lost the trust vote last Tuesday after 99 MLAs voted in favour of it and 105 legislators went against it. The floor test was necessitated by the resignations of the MLAs. The coalition government had come to power in May 2018 and the next election is due in 2023. In May 2018, Karnataka ended up with a fractured mandate after the Assembly elections. The BJP emerged as the largest party with 105 seats, but was eight short of the majority mark of 113.