Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more rebel MLAs from Congress and JD(S), days after he disqualified three other MLAs. The Speaker said that the 11 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs are also disqualified until 2023.
The disqualified MLAs are ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpura), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), Prathapgouda Patil (Maski), K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), AH Vishwanath (Hunasuru), Narayana Gowda (Krishanarajapete), Munirathna Naidu (RR Nagar), Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura), Shrimant Patil (Kagwad) and Anand Singh (Vijayanagara). The MLAs who were disqualified on Thursday were Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Mahesh Kumathall (Athani) and R Shankar (Ranebennur).
All these disqualifications were made under Section 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution read with Article 19 1 (2).
These means in total 17 MLAs of the Karnataka Assembly have been disqualified bringing the strength of the House to 207 and the magic number reduced to 104. The BJP has 105 MLAs of their own and independent MLA H Nagesh is likely to support them for BS Yediyurappaâ€™s floor test on Monday.
While the Speaker has observed that they cannot re-contest elections until the expiry of the current Assembly term due to the disqualification, the rebel MLAs are set to contest the Speakerâ€™s order in the High Court or the Supreme Court. If the Speakerâ€™s verdict is upheld by the court, the rebelsâ€™ prospects of becoming ministers in the BS Yeddiurappa 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.
The MLAsâ€™ rebellion in Karnataka led to the downfall of the HD Kumaraswamy government last week.