A day before new Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa faces a trust vote, Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar yesterday disqualified 14 rebel legislators of the Congress and Janata Dal – Secular (JD-S) for defying their parties’ whip to attend the assembly on July 23.
The 14 legislators remained absent from the assembly on July 23, when former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy put a confidence motion to vote for proving his majority. But he lost the vote.
“As the remaining 11 Congress and 3 JD-S rebel legislators also defied their respective party’s whip by remaining absent from the assembly on July 23 when the motion was to put vote, they have violated the anti-defection law,” the speaker cited as one of the reasons for disqualifying them under the 10th Schedule, read with the Article 191(2) of the Constitution.
The motion was defeated by voice vote and division of votes on the insistence of then opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yediyurappa.
The coalition had only 99 votes in its favour while the BJP had 105.
The 11 Congress lawmakers disqualified are Pratap Gouda Patil (Maski), B C Patil (Hirekerur), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), S T Someshekhar (Yeshwantapur), Byrati Basavraj (K R Puram), Anand Singh (Vijayanagar), R Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar), Muniratna (R R Nagar), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur), M T B Nagaraj (Hoskote) and Shrimant Patil (Kagawad).
The three JD-S legislators are A H Vishwanath (Hunsur), Narayan Gowda (K R Pete) and K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout).
Three rebel Congress legislators – Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani) and R Shankar (Ranebennur) – were disqualified on July 25 for defying their party’s whip to attend the assembly and vote in favour of the motion.
Shrimant Patil was disqualified on a complaint by Congress leader Siddaramaiah and its state president Dinesh Gundu Rao for being absent in the assembly though he had informed the speaker on July 18 that he was in a hospital in Mumbai for treatment.
“All the 14 legislators have been disqualified as members of the 15th Karnataka Legislative Assembly from their respective segments across the state for defying their party under Section 208 of the 10th Schedule, read with the Article 191 (2) of the Constitution,” said Kumar.
Shankar was disqualified for giving a letter to state Governor Vajubhai Vala that he had resigned as a cabinet minister on July 8 and would support the BJP in forming the government and proving majority in the assembly.
The disqualification of the legislators has reduced the assembly strength to 208, with 105 as the new halfway mark for proving majority by the BJP today when Yediyurappa takes the floor test before moving the Finance Bill for fiscal year 2019-20 for the approval.