In a move that heightened the suspense over government formation excercise in the state two days after the collapse of the Congress-JDS ministry, Kumar disqualified rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law. With all attention riveted on the Speaker’s action, Kumar held that the resignation by the three MLAs were “not voluntary and genuine” and therefore proceeded to disqualify them under the anti-defection law with immediate effect till the end of the term of the current House in 2023.
The Speaker said he would decide on both resignations and disqualification pleas pending before him in respect of 14 other MLAs “in the next couple of days”, which may prolong the political turmoil and have a bearing on government formation.
The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle triggered by the raft of resignations by the rebel MLAs.
Kumar’s pronouncement of the ruling on disqualification pleas by the Congress and JDS and resignations by the MLAs in a phased manner is seen as a tough message to other rebels, who are still camping in Mumbai insisting they would not step back from their decision to quit their assembly membership.
Congress rebel MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli and Shankar faced the tough action from the Speaker, who made it clear that a member disqualified under the anti-defection law cannot contest or get elected till the end of the term of the present House.
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