Day Before Trust Vote, Karnataka Speaker Disqualifies 14 More Rebel Lawmakers
On Thursday, two days after the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance government in the state, the Speaker had disqualified three rebel MLAs.
File photo of Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar (PTI)
Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 rebel Congress MLAs under the anti-defection law, just a day before the newly formed BJP government will face a trust vote in the state assembly.
On Thursday, two days after the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance government in the state, the Speaker had disqualified three rebel MLAs, in a move that heightened the suspense over the exercise of government formation.
Kumar, speaking at a press conference, said the way he was being pressured by colleagues because of his post had “pushed me into a sea of depression”. Kumar added that he had promised that he would take a decision “in a couple of days” and was honouring the deadline. This is not drama or manipulation... I have been behaving in a manner in which a gentleman has to behave,” he said.
Responding to a question on the BJP planning to seek his disqualification, Kumar said: “Let it come. Why should I be worried?” Party sources had said on Saturday that the BJP was contemplating bringing a no-confidence motion against the Speaker if he does not voluntarily vacate the post.
The message has been discreetly conveyed to Kumar to give up the post, which is conventionally held by a member from the ruling party, the sources said, ahead of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa moving the confidence motion in the assembly on Monday to prove his majority.
"We will move the no-confidence motion against the Speaker if he himself does not resign," a senior state BJP leader said. “Our first agenda is to win the confidence motion and get the finance bill passed on Monday. We will wait and see whether the Speaker steps down on his own,” he added
The BJP leader sought to know how there could be a Speaker from the opposition party. "Once we win the confidence of the House, we will go ahead with moving no-confidence motion," he said.
In a sudden turn of events, Yediyurappa staked claim and formed the government on Friday, barely 24 hours after the Speaker disqualified three rebel MLAs while keeping the decision pending on 14 others.
A raft of resignations by the rebel MLAs had brought down the coalition government when it lost the vote of confidence in the assembly on Tuesday and put the BJP on the saddle.
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