Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law. The disqualified MLAs cannot contest elections until the end of the current assembly session in 2023.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar disqualified Congress MLAs R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli.
Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao welcomed the Speaker’s decision. “Speaker #RameshKumar disqualifies 3 MLA’s, R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi & Mahesh Kumatalli for the entire term of the present Karnataka Vidhana Sabha. Wholeheartedly welcome the verdict. #VictoryForDemocracy,” he said in a tweet.
Giving the reasons for disqualifications, Speaker Ramesh Kumar explained that MLA R Shankar who had won the seat as an Independent had joined Congress formally in June. However, in his resignation letter as a minister, submitted to the Governor, R Shankar clearly mentioned that he lends his support the BJP.
The anti-defection law forbids legislators from skipping voting in the House in case their party has issued whip to that effect. All 12 rebel MLAs from Congress had skipped trust vote despite a whip from Congress Legislative Party chief DK Shivakumar.
Explaining the disqualification of Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumthalli, the Speaker said, “I rejected the resignation first. I arrived at an inference that these resignations are voluntary in nature and then based on evidence, I disqualified them.”
The Speaker said that he had enough evidence to prove that the MLAs violated provisions of 10th Schedule.
Now, they have two options, either go to the Supreme Court or high court, the Speaker said.