Cong, BJP lose a wicket each

Justice Sabhahit begins hearing in MLAs disqualification case

Cong, BJP lose a wicket each

The court hearing will continue on Thursday. The MLA-poaching and disqualification saga continued on Wednesday with the Congress losing a member to the BJP and the ruling party petitioning the Speaker to disqualify one of its legislators.

Ending all speculations, Speaker K G Bopaiah’s office on Wednesday confirmed the resignation of Congress MLA from   Jagalur S V Ramachandra, bringing down the strength of the Congress party in the Assembly to 72.

Later, it was the turn of the BJP to petition the Speaker to disqualify its legislator Manappa Vajjal for violating the party whip by staying away from the trust vote on the floor of the House on October 14.

Vajjal, who represents the Lingsugur constituency in the Assembly, had remained untraceable and had absented himself during the two motions of confidence sought by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa despite the party serving him a whip.

On October 15, the party slapped a show cause notice on Vajjal. The legislator on his part stated that he was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bangalore and had been advised complete rest by doctors.

“We were not satisfied with the reply and have petitioned the Speaker to disqualify Vajjal from the membership of the Assembly as per the provisions of the 10th schedule of the Constitution”, government chief whip D N Jeevaraj said. Assembly secretariat officials said the Speaker will soon take up the process of disqualification.

The total strength of the Assembly has now come down to 207 from 225 with the resignation of Ramachandra and JD(S) MLA M C Ashwatha. It seems that Ramachandra did indeed resign from the membership of the Assembly on Tuesday itself, but he remained incommunicado. The Assembly secretariat on Wednesday issued a notification to the effect that Ramachandra’s resignation had been accepted by the Speaker.

Both Ramachandra and Ashwatha, who resigned at the behest of the BJP, are tipped to be inducted into the Yeddyurappa ministry. Congress leaders had staged a protest in front the Chief Minister’s house on Tuesday after they learnt that the BJP had poached one of its MLAs.

Ramachandra, a first-time MLA, was considered a close confidant of Congress leader Shamanur Shivashankarappa. He contested on the Congress ticket in 2008 after Jagalur became a reserved constituency for ST.

Shivashankarappa is also upset with Ramachandra’s resignation. He said, he tried to contact Ramachandra but failed to reach him. He received the information that a seer belonging to a prominent community played a major role in persuading him to resign.

The Congress Legislature Party, which met at a star hotel in Bangalore, decided to stage a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue on October 24.

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