Karnataka assembly speaker KR Ramesh on Sunday disqualified remaining 14 rebel MLAs with immediate effect till the end of the term assembly, just a day before BJP leader BS Yediyurappa seeks the support of MLAs in a trust vote to form the new Karnataka government.
Among the rebel MLAs, who were disqualified by the speaker today, 11 are from the Congress while three are from the JD(S). With the fresh development, the total number of rebel MLAs disqualified stands at 17. Earlier on Thursday, two Congress MLAs and one independent–Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli, and R Shankar– were disqualified.
The MLAs who were disqualified today are Byrathi Basavaraj (Congress), Munirathna (Congress), ST Somashekar (Congress), Roshan Baig (Congress), Anand Singh (Congress), K Gopalaiah (JDS)), Narayana Gowda (JDS), MTB Nagaraj (Congress), BC Patil (Congress), A H Vishwanath (JDS), Prathap Gouda Patil (Congress), Dr Sudhakar (Congress), Shivaram Hebbar (Congress), Shrimant Patil (Congress).
However, even with the fresh disqualifications, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to form the government as it already has the support of 105 MLAs. After the disqualifications, the magic number to form the Karnataka government now stands at 104.
Speaking at the press conference, the Karnataka assembly speaker said, “BS Yediyurappa has asked me to oversee vote of confidence tomorrow. The Finance bill is set to lapse on July 31. I appeal to all MLAs to appear for the session for the confidence motion.”
Giving a reason behind calling the press conference on a Sunday, KR Ramesh said, “To allow motion of confidence vote to be taken up for consideration. My staff has been in office both on Saturday and Sunday. I, therefore, have to make my pronouncements today.”
During the press conference, the speaker became emotional and said he has been pushed to the edge over the ongoing developments in Karnataka politics over the past few days.
“The way I am being pressured to deal with these as the Speaker has pushed me into a sea of depression. Now I have come to the decision,” he added.
He rejected the four weeks time sought by rebel MLAs against disqualification petitions filed by Congress and JD(S) leaders and disqualified the remaining 14 rebel MLAs. KR Ramesh added that the disqualified MLAs will not be able to contest elections until the expiry of the term of the 15th assembly.
Moments after the speaker disqualified the MLAs, the BJP condemned his decision. AS Patil Nadahalli, BJP leader, said, “Speaker’s decision is illegal and undemocratic. The MLAs met him and gave the resignation. Their signatures were voluntary and genuine. This is a dark day for Karnataka politics.”