Cong explores legal aspects to counter BJP's efforts

Cong explores legal aspects to counter BJP's efforts

The Congress is banking on legal options to counter the BJP’s alleged attempts at dislodging the government.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal spent most of his day Tuesday huddling with Congress leaders, discussing the political situation. Importantly, his discussions revealed, according to Congress sources, that the party could take the legal route to stonewall the BJP’s attempts at luring legislators to form a government.

Venugopal is said to have discussed how the anti-defection law could be invoked if at all the BJP manages to convince a significant number of Congress legislators to resign.

That the incumbent Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar happens to be a Congressman could help. “All legislators are covered by the Representation of People Act. MLAs will have to submit their resignations to the Speaker, who might as well sit on it without accepting them. With their resignations unaccepted, any move these MLAs make will attract disqualification,” a Congress minister who met Venugopal explained.

Under the anti-defection law, legislators can attract disqualification for six years.

“Our MLAs have been misguided. Even if the Governor orders a floor test, our MLAs will be issued a whip. They will face disqualification if they cross-vote by violating the whip because their resignations wouldn’t have been accepted. Even a parade before the Governor, or a written submission announcing that they’ve switched sides may lead to disqualification without their resignations being accepted,” the minister said. “Legally, it is very tricky.”