Will issuing whip save HDK govt?

Will issuing whip save HDK govt?

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. DH Photo

The political drama unfolding in Karnataka has thrown up several interesting questions, one of them being: Whether the 13 Congress and JD(S) MLAs have to comply with the party whip if the H D Kumaraswamy government takes a floor test to prove majority.

This was a much-discussed topic in political circles on Monday when the JD(S)-Congress government lost majority after two independent MLAs withdrew support.

While the BJP claimed that the whip does not apply to the rebel MLAs as they have already resigned, the Congress has been of the view that they have to comply with the whip as their resignations have yet to be accepted.

According to former advocate general B V Acharya, issuing whip to the rebel MLAs has no meaning as they have decided to quit.

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“Defying the whip will lead to disqualification from the Assembly membership. Since the MLAs have already decided to resign, there is no point in applying anti-defection law against them,” Acharya said.

As per Schedule 10 of the Constitution, MLAs can be disqualified if they violate the whip in the House. But they can become members of the Assembly again after getting re-elected in bypolls. However, if a member is disqualified for a criminal offense or under Prevention of Corruption Act, then the disqualification will be for a specific duration. For instance, under the PCA, the disqualification is for 6 years plus the number of years of conviction, Acharya explained.

But former advocate general Ravi Verma Kumar had a contrary view. Kumar said that MLAs have to comply with the whip if the resignation is still pending. “The rebel MLAs will remain Assembly members until their resignation is accepted. So the anti-defection law can be applied against them if they violate the whip,” he added.