Coalition seeks disqualification of rebels

Embattled coalition partners, the Congress and the JD(S) on Thursday petitioned Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify membership of all rebel MLAs, excluding Ramalinga Reddy, for indulging in anti-party activities.

“We have submitted a petition to the Speaker to disqualify all rebel MLAs, excluding Ramalinga Reddy, as per Scheduled 10 of constitution. We have urged the Speaker to look into the petition at the earliest” state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao told reporters. 

The petition was submitted prior to the rebel MLAs’ appearance before the Speaker in the evening, as per the direction of the Supreme Court. The apex court had directed 10 rebels to appear before the Speaker by 6 pm (on Thursday) so that the latter can decide on their resignations.

A total of 16 rebel MLAs of the Congress and the JD(S) have so far resigned. The Speaker had on Tuesday rejected the resignation letters of nine MLAs as they were not in prescribed format. He is scheduled to examine the resignation letters of remaining seven MLAs on July 12, 15 and 17.

Sources in the Congress said the Congress’ move seeking disqualification was aimed at pre-empting nine rebel MLAs who have to submit their resignation afresh. Besides, the disqualified leaders cannot hold any office till they get re-elected. These MLAs, who were camping in Mumbai, flew down to Bengaluru and submitted the resignation to the Speaker.

If an MLA is disqualified under Scheduled 10, she/he has to get re-elected to become Assembly member again. Till then, the disqualified individual cannot hold any constitutional post such as member of council of ministers. If the Speaker accepts their resignation, then such leaders can subsequently become ministers. But they have to get re-elected or nominated to legislature within six months of losing their membership.

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