Congress pushes for disqualification of 13 rebel MLAs

Congress pushes for disqualification of 13 rebel MLAs

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao have submitted a petition to the Speaker seeking Shankar’s disqualification. (DH Photo)

The Congress is likely to mount pressure on Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to consider its petition seeking disqualification of 13 rebel legislators under the anti-defection law.

The party has now decided to seek disqualification of Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) legislator R Shankar, for allegedly “conspiring to destabilize the government by hobnobbing with the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

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Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao have submitted a petition to the Speaker seeking Shankar’s disqualification.

According to the petition, Shankar’s request to the Speaker seeking merger of the KPJP into the Congress as per Clause 4(2) of the 10th Schedule had been accepted. “It was required for the respondent (Shankar) to maintain political propriety and morality, but has violated the 10th Schedule by trying to destabilize the government in collusion with members of the BJP. The respondent is doing anti-party activities at the instance of the BJP,” the Congress’ petition states.

Shankar was inducted into Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet as the Forest minister. He withdrew his support earlier this year after he was removed from the Cabinet. He was inducted back into the Cabinet just last month as the Municipalities minister. “The respondent wanted a better portfolio which had already been given, the same was assured by the BJP for which the respondent resigned to join the BJP,” the petition claims.

Shankar is also in violation of a whip the Congress had issued on July 11 mandating all its legislators to attend the monsoon session of legislature. “The respondent herein, in spite of the whip failed to attend the session held on July 12 and thereby defied the whip issued on July 11,” the petition states.

Besides Shankar, the Congress has sought disqualification of Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli, Pratapgouda Patil, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekhar, Byrati Basavaraj, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, Munirathna, MTB Nagaraj and K Sudhakar.

“Our disqualification petition with the Speaker against our MLA’s is as per section 2-1a of the anti-defection law,” Rao said in a tweet. “It’s not for violating the Whip but for indulging in anti-party activities, to join hands with BJP to topple our government and voluntarily giving up membership.”