Eleven rebel lawmakers of the Congress and three from HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular were disqualified by Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar today. The move brings down the majority mark in the assembly within the reach of the newly formed BJP government, which is expected to face a trust vote in the state assembly tomorrow.
On Thursday, the Speaker had disqualified three lawmakers. Today’s disqualifications bring down the strength of the House to 208, and the majority mark slides to 105 – a number the BJP currently has.
Mr Ramesh, whose office extends till a new Speaker is chosen, said he would not resign. “I will do my duty,” he said.
All the lawmakers have been disqualified from the assembly till the end of its term, which calls for by-elections in all 16 constituencies.
Congress’s Siddaramaiah tweeted: “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.”
The BJP had staked claim to power after the 14-month-old coalition government of the Congress and HD Kumaraswamy failed the trust vote last week. The coalition could scrape up only 99 votes against the BJP’s 105.
The test of strength took place after 13 lawmakers of the Congress and three from the JDS resigned and two Independent lawmakers who were supporting the government switched sides earlier this month.
The BJP moved swiftly after the Speaker disqualified three lawmakers on Thursday, staking claim to form government and pushing for a trust vote on Monday. State BJP chief BS Yediyurappa (who also changed his name), who will take charge of the government as the Chief Minister for the fourth time.
“The Finance Bill has to be passed and I have to take the trust vote. So Governor agreed to Monday… He requested me as the Chief Minister to convene the Assembly on Monday. Vote on account sought by the previous establishment expires on July 31. As per Constitution, the government comes to a standstill if the bill is not passed,” Mr Yediyurappa said.
Senior BJP leader GT Devegowda has said that a few JD(S) legislators, who met HD Kumaraswamy on Friday, suggested providing external support to the BJP government. The JDS has denied the allegations.
“News about us having ties with the BJP has come to my notice. These are baseless and lawmakers and party workers should not heed to any of these rumours. It is far from the truth. We will continue our fight for the people and the fight will go on,” he tweeted.
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Advantage BJP As 14 Karnataka Rebels Disqualified Day Before Trust Vote – NDTV News