Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 MLAs belonging to the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular, days after the BJP managed to bring down the government in the state.
Among those disqualified include Pratapgouda Patil, BC Patil, ST Somashekar, Shivaram Hebbar, BA Basavaraja, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, Munirathna Naidu, K Sudhakar, MTB Nagaraj and Shrimanth Patil from the Congress and AH Vishwanath, KC Narayana Gowda and K Gopalaiah from the JDS.
This came two days after Kumar had disqualified three Congress MLAs R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli. These 16 MLAs, disqualified under the anti-defection law, cannot contest elections until at least the end of this assembly session in 2023.
Shankar, Jarkiholi and Kumathalli have already moved the Supreme Court challenging the Speaker’s decision.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted welcoming the decision, “I welcome the decision of speaker to disqualify 14 MLAs. This honest decision of speaker will send strong signals for all the representatives in the country who might fall for @BJP4India’s trap.”
I welcome the decision of spreaker to disqualify 14 MLAs. This honest decision of speaker will send strong signals for all the representatives in the country who might fall for @BJP4India's trap.@INCKarnataka
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 28, 2019
The rebellion by these MLAs had created a huge political crisis in the state, subsequently bringing down the Congress-JDS government. The Congress and the JDS had accused the BJP of engineering the split in a bid to form a government by the saffron party.
The rebel MLAs had left for Mumbai soon after resigning from the assembly in a chartered plane owned by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.