Cong welcomes SC verdict, demands state govt dismissal

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah. (PTI photo)

Welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court to allow rebel MLAs to contest in the upcoming Karnataka bypolls, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah said that the Supreme Court had partially upheld the decision of former speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao, meanwhile, termed the State government 'unconstitutional' and demanded that it be dismissed.

"I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court. A total of 14 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs had resigned from the coalition government and violated the whip, after which we filed a petition in front of the Speaker," Siddaramaiah said. Based on the petition, the then Speaker observed that the 17 legislators had violated whip, and resignation was not voluntary. So, they were disqualified, he added. 

Also read — BSY hails SC verdict; BJP may field rebels in bypolls

Stating that there were two parts in the judgement by the Speaker, Siddaramaiah said, "The first, disqualified them for defecting to other political party and second barred them from contesting polls till the end of the term of Legislative Assembly."  The first part of the Speakers' order was upheld by Supreme Court, while the second part was modified.

The Supreme Court has allowed the rebels to contest the bypolls. As per the 10th schedule of the constitution, MLAs are not prohibited from resigning voluntarily without coercion. But, if it is not voluntary and genuine, resignations cannot be accepted, which the Supreme Court also noted, he said.

Noting that the court also discussed the 'morality' of the resignations, he said that the issue was now in front of the people of Karnataka.

Meanwhile, KPCC president Rao took to twitter and said, "Supreme Court has upheld the disqualification of all the 17 MLA’s who defected from Congress and JDS. It also proves that the Karnataka BJP govt is an illegal government. BJP had used unconstitutional means to fabricate a majority. It should be immediately dismissed."

In a second tweet, he wrote, "I welcome the Supreme Court verdict. The hand of BJP in toppling the coalition govt is now clear. The involvement of chief minister B S Yediyurappa and Union Home Minister AmitShah is now proved. If BJP has any morality left, they should not give tickets to these disqualified MLA’s to contest."

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