BJP MLAs R Ashok and Ashwath Narayana flew to Mumbai to meet the rebels and assure them that would not face disqualification, say sources.

Resignation or disqualification Rebel Karnataka MLAs await Speakers decision
news Politics Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 15:47
The collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka has brought forth a crucial question: What happens to the 15 rebel legislators, who have been staying at a star hotel in Mumbai? Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar o will decide their fate and Congress leaders are hopeful that their plea for disqualification of the rebels will come through before BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa takes oath as the next Chief Minister of Karnataka.

The Congress has alleged that the rebels were lured into the BJP’s plot to topple the coalition on the assurance that they would not face disqualification. In case of disqualification, the rebels will have to wait until the results of the bye-elections are announced to become ministers. However, if the Speaker accepts their resignations, then the rebel MLAs can become ministers immediately but they will have to win the bye-elections to continue holding the ministries.

Worried about their future, BJP insiders say that the rebels have begun to rethink their actions. BJP MLAs R Ashok and Ashwath Narayana on Wednesday flew to Mumbai to meet the rebels and assure them that they would not face disqualification, say sources. Furthermore, 12 rebels have also been promised ministerial portfolios by the BJP, say sources.  

The rebels are also expected to return to Bengaluru in the next couple of days following a decision on their resignations is made.  

Speaking to TNM, a Congress source said that Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar held a hearing on Wednesday, where the counsel representing the Congress Legislature Party appealed for the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs including KPJP MLA from Ranebennur R Shankar and Kagwad MLA Srimanth Patil, who did not attend the crucial trust vote session claiming a heart ailment. 

Congress leaders say that the party has submitted proof to the Speaker that Srimanth Patil was allegedly faking a heart ailment and that he was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai that did not have a cardiology wing. 

“The Congress had submitted proof of BJP’s involvement in the MLAs rebellion before the Assembly session began on July 12. We have also submitted disqualification petition for the MLAs involvement in anti-party activities. The whip issue does not have to be something that needs to be discussed for their disqualification anymore. We have ample proof of BJP involvement and we are confident that they will be disqualified tomorrow,” the Congress source said.

Congress leaders claim that CLP Leader Siddaramaiah has also submitted proof of KPJP MLA R Shankar merging his party with the Congress.

Drawing parallels with the 2017 case of 18 AIADMK MLAs in Tamil Nadu who were disqualified by the Speaker for approaching the Governor withdrawing support to Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, a Congress leader said,  “R Shankar did not even tender his resignation. He merely sent a letter to the Governor just like the AIADMK rebels had. The Tamil Nadu Speaker had disqualified them. The same will happen to R Shankar. He is an associate member of the Congress party.”

Meanwhile, the BJP leaders are slated to hold the legislature party meeting at 5 pm on Wednesday, where they are likely to elect BS Yeddyurappa as leader. The Governor Vajubhai Vala has granted the BJP time for a meeting on Thursday morning.

“We will request the Governor to grant us permission to prove majority in the Assembly. We are expecting Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka by the end of this week,” a BJP leader said.

“We are confident that the rebel MLAs will be re-elected to the Assembly and that they will not be disqualified. If the Speaker disqualifies anyone but Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatahalli and R Shankar, then that would only show how unfair the Speaker can be. The Supreme Court has said that the whip is not applicable to the rebels,” BJP MLA from Chikkamagaluru CT Ravi said. 

 

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