Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualifies 3 rebel MLAs

Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualifies 3 rebel MLAs

Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar addresses a press conference in Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Thursday ordered disqualification of three rebel MLAs — Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli and R Shankar — for the term of the incumbent Legislative Assembly till May 2023 under the anti-defection law. 

The Speaker said he would pronounce his order on the remaining 12 rebel MLAs in a couple of days. 

The Speaker’s decision to disqualify the three rebels has come as a shot in the arm for the Congress-JD(S) coalition, which hopes that it would go a long way in unsettling the rebels’ camp and further dampen the BJP’s prospects of forming the government. 

“I have rejected their resignations for the single reason that the circumstances compelled me to infer that their resignations were neither voluntary nor genuine. I have found enough evidence to see that they have violated the 10th Schedule,” Kumar told a news conference. 

Kumar stressed that the disqualification barred the three MLAs from seeking re-election to the 15th Assembly. 

Kumar said that he ordered the disqualification under 2(1)(a) of the 10th schedule read with Article 191(2).

The disqualified legislators were free to approach either the High Court or Supreme Court challenging his order, Kumar said. 

Jarkiholi, who represented Gokak, had tendered resignation earlier this month and was identified as one of the chief architects of the attempt to topple the Congress-JD(S) coalition. Kumathalli (Athani) is a Jarkiholi acolyte. Shankar (Ranebennur) was also found to have violated the anti-defection law.

To a question on whether resignation or disqualification petition will be considered first, he said that the behaviour of the legislators and law related to such resignations will take precedence.