Facing disqualification, rebel Karnataka MLAs seek four weeks' time to appear before Speaker

  • The 15 rebel Congress and the JD(S) MLAs have sought four weeks' time to appear before the Speaker in connection with the plea for their disqualification

  • The rebel MLAs were supposed to appear before the Speaker on Tuesday, but six lawyers gave a representation on their behalf instead

  • The resignations of the MLAs had triggered the political crisis in Karnataka, compelling chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to seek the vote of confidence, which he lost

Bengaluru: The 15 rebel MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) have sought four weeks' time to appear before Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in connection with the plea for their disqualification from the State Assembly.

"Yes, we have sought four weeks' time from the Speaker. We have approached the Speaker through our advocate," Hunsur JD(S) MLA AH Vishwanath said. In their letter, the disgruntled MLAs — 13 of whom are camping in a Mumbai hotel — said a petition has been filed under Schedule 10 of the Constitution by the Congress, seeking their disqualification.

They added that they were not in receipt of the copy of the petition or the documents annexed to it.

 Facing disqualification, rebel Karnataka MLAs seek four weeks time to appear before Speaker

File image of Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. PTI

Stating they have learnt that their presence has been sought by Wednesday, the MLAs reminded the Speaker that at least seven days' time should be given to present their case.

Citing the case of Balchandra L Jarkiholi versus BS Yeddyurappa in 2011, they requested the Speaker to grant them four weeks' time.

The MLAs resigned earlier in July, threatening the existence of the coalition government of the Congress and the JD(S), compelling chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to seek the vote of confidence, which he lost.

The Congress and the JD(S) had sought disqualification of their rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law, but the dissident legislators were not deterred by it and skipped the Assembly proceedings during the crucial confidence vote on Tuesday. A disqualified member loses seat but can get re-elected to the Assembly.

The rebel MLAs were supposed to appear before the Speaker on Tuesday morning. However, six lawyers gave a representation on their behalf as the legislators did not turn up.

Appearing on behalf of Congress, VS Ugrappa, a lawyer and a Congress leader, said, "We have appealed to the Speaker that those members who remained absent during the vote of confidence should be disqualified immediately. The Speaker has reserved his order. We have quoted various decisions and the provisions of the Constitution."

Siddaramaiah had Tuesday stated in the Assembly during the motion of confidence moved by Kumaraswamy that the party will not take the rebels back. Kumaraswamy, too, echoed similar views saying his party will not welcome the three dissident JD(S) MLAs.

Updated Date: Jul 23, 2019 23:10:51 IST