The dust settled on the 15-day long political drama that unfolded in Karnataka when the Congress-JD(S) led government fell two weeks ago. 14 of the 17 rebel MLAs, whose resignations led to the collapse of the coalition government, have now moved the Supreme Court against their disqualification.
The 14 rebel MLAs, including Congress leaders â€“ Pratapgouda Patil, BC Patil, Srimath Patil, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj, Dr K Sudhakar, MTB Nagaraj, Shivaram Hebbar, Roshan Baig and Anand Singh â€“ and three JD(S) leaders â€“ AH Vishwanath, K Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda â€“ moved the Supreme Court on Thursday.
The rebels have requested that the court ask for the records of the proceedings before the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, pertaining to the resignation and disqualification proceedings against them. They have further requested that an appropriate writ, order or direction be issued by the Supreme Court to quash and set aside the Speakerâ€™s order dated July 28, 2019, which rejected the resignations of the rebels and disqualified them. The rebels stated that they had tendered their resignations on July 6, prior to the Congress filing disqualification petitions against them, which was on July 12.
The Karnataka Congress, on Wednesday, however, filed a caveat in the Karnataka High Court requesting it to not change the orders passed by the Speaker in relation to the disqualification of the rebel MLAs.
All the disqualifications were made under Section 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution read with Article 19 (1) (2).
A total of 17 MLAs of the Karnataka Assembly have been disqualified, bringing the strength of the House to 207. While the Speaker has observed that they cannot re-contest elections until the expiry of the current Assembly term due to the disqualification.
If the Speakerâ€™s verdict is upheld by the court, the rebelsâ€™ prospects of becoming ministers in the BS Yediyurappa government is out of contention.
In the recent case of 18 AIADMK MLAs, who were disqualified in September 2017, they were allowed by the apex court and the Election Commission to contest the bye-elections held six months later.