Now, all eyes are on the Speaker

The presiding officer of the Assembly is under scrutiny

The Speaker remained incommunicado to media though he was in office to make preparations for the Assembly session of October 11.

Speaker’s task

The Speaker’s task for the day is to ensure that the Chief Minister moves the motion of confidence. He has issued business bulletin for the day.

The options before the Speaker include:

Disqualify rebels

Acting on the BJP’s petition to disqualify 11 BJP rebels, the speaker may disqualify them.
He may announce his decision as soon as the House assembles and ask Marshals not to allow the disqualified members attend the House. The strength of the House will come down and may help the government win the trust vote.

Independents

The BJP has sought suspension of five independents.  The independent MLAs can be disqualified for associating with a political party, as per the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Further, if the Speaker suspends them too, the strength of the House will come down further.

Suspends four MLAs

The Speaker may announce suspension of four MLAs - three Congress and one JD(S) - on charges of unruly behaviour during the election of the Speaker in December 2009.
The suspended MLAs lose the right to vote in the session, bringing down the Opposition strength.

Postponement

However, the Speaker may postpone his action, citing the House Committee report on  unruly behaviour of the MLAs has not yet been tabled in the House.  But the discretion lies with him.

What does disqualification mean?

Once an MLA is subjected to disqualification, he is no more an MLA. He is disqualified for the existing term of the Assembly.

Automatically he loses party’s primary membership. If the disqualified MLA’s corrupt practices are proved in the court of law, the Election Commission can bar him from contesting elections for up to six years.

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