Karnataka: BJP stakes claim to form government after 3 rebel MLAs disqualified

BJP on Friday staked claim to form the new government in Karnataka and urged state Governor Vajubhai Vala to swear-in its leader B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister later in the day

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Web Desk

An upbeat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday staked claim to form the new government in Karnataka and urged state Governor Vajubhai Vala to swear-in its leader B.S. Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister later in the day, a party official said.

BJP leader and chief ministeral candidate BS Yeddyurappa too told the media that he has met the governor and will take oath at 6 pm on Friday July 26.

"Our party's national President Amit Shah has asked Yeddyurappa over phone from Delhi to stake claim for forming the next government and take oath as chief minister at the earliest," BJP's spokesman G. Madhusudan said.

The BJP's decision to stake claim to form government for the fourth time in the southern state comes a day after Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified three Congress legislators for defying their party's whip and three days after the shaky JD-S-Congress coalition government collapsed on July 23.

Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified two rebel Congress legislators and an Independent lawmaker with immediate effect.

The Congress rebels are Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak) and Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani) constituencies in Belagavi district, while Independent R. Shankar is (Ranebennur) in Haveri district.

"The 3 legislators have been disqualified under the Anti-Defection Law (10th Schedule of the Constitution) on the recommendation of their party," Ramesh Kumar told reporters here.

Though Shankar was elected in the May 2018 Assembly elections as a KPJP candidate, the Speaker said he had merged the regional outfit with the Congress after he was inducted into the cabinet on June 14 along with Independent H. Nagesh from Mulbagal in Kolar district.

"Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah recommended Shankar's disqualification on July 11 after he resigned from the coalition ministry and gave a letter to state Governor Vajubhai Vala on July 8 that he would support the BJP, which is a violation of the party's discipline under the anti-defection law," Kumar said.

All the three legislators will not be able to contest any assembly or parliamentary election till May 2023, when the 5-year term of the state assembly lapses.

Jarkiholi and Kumatahalli were disqualified for abstaining from the 10-day budget session of the Assembly in February against the whip issued to all party legislators on February 7.

"Though the party recommended disqualification of its 4 legislators, including Umesh Jadav (Chincholi) and B. Nagendra (Bellary Rural), Jadav resigned in March and acting against Nagendra is pending," recalled Kumar.

A decision on the disqualification of the remaining 10 Congress rebel legislators will be taken in the next couple of days as its process is laborious.

"I will inform you when decision on the 10 Congress and 3 Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) is taken in the next 2-3 days," added Kumar.

The Speaker's decision on the disqualifications and resignations will be significant in view of the numbers in the house and the formation of the next government. If the BJP does not decide to form a minority government, the state can go under President's Rule. The JD (S) and Congress coalition government in Karnataka had come to power in May last year and the next election is due in 2023.

The impasse is likely to effect the finance bill, which is scheduled to be passed by July 31, reports NDTV.

"Everybody is watching my behaviour... If the finance bill not passed by July 31... it is my responsibility that such a financial impasse is not created," the speaker told reporters at the press conference on Thursday evening where he announced the disqualifications.

In all, 15 rebel legislators, including 12 of the Congress and 3 of the JD-S resigned from their assembly segments between July 6-10, abstained from the 10-day monsoon session of the Assembly and defied their parties' whip to be present in the House on July 23 when the floor test was conducted on the confidence motion caretaker Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy moved and lost.

In addition to the rebels, Shankar and Nagesh, who resigned as ministers on July 8, also skipped the floor test despite pledging their support to the BJP.

Nagendra and another Congress legislator Srimanth Patil also did not attend the Assembly for the trust vote as they were in hospitals for treatment and informed the Speaker duly.

With 20 legislators, including N. Mahesh of BSP absenting for the floor test, Kumaraswamy lost the floor test by 6 votes, as the coalition allies polled 99 against 105 by the BJP in the division of votes, which resulted in the fall of their 14-month-old coalition government.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines

Published: 26 Jul 2019, 9:02 AM