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After quitting as Speaker, Ramesh Kumar seeks better Anti-Defection law

By Anuj Cariappa
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Bengaluru, July 30: Defending his decision to disqualify 17 rebel MLAS, K R Ramesh Kumar, who quit as assembly speaker Monday, rued that the 10th Schedule of the Constitution dealing with the anti-defection law failed to achieve the intended goals and stressed for a relook into it .

Kumar, whose tenure as speaker spanned for 14 months and four days, said electoral reforms were the need of the hour.

K R Ramesh Kumar

"The root-cause of corruption in public life in the country is electoral system. There is a need for electoral reforms.

Speaking about eradicating corruption without electoral reforms will only be a hollow intellectual talk without any commitment," Kumar said.

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He delivered his final speech in the assembly as speaker after the three-day old BJP government headed by B S Yediyurappa proved its majority in the truncated state assembly winning the confidence motion by a voice vote.

He announced his resignation, amid reports that the BJP was mulling moving a no-confidence motion against him.

Kumar insisted that the House should pressure the Centre to initiate measures for electoral reforms.

He requested assemblies of all state governments to pass resolutions and build pressure on the Centre to strengthen the anti-defection law.

His appeal came against the backdrop of 17 MLAs of the ruling coalition of Congress and the JD(S) tendering their resignation, leading to political turmoil and culminating in its collapse.

Treating their conduct questionable, Kumar disqualified them ahead of the trust vote sought by Yediyurappa.

On the occasion, he urged political parties to behave in a manner that democratic values are not diminished.

In this regard, he asked politicians to never advance their personal and family interest and destroy the political parties they belong to.

Kumar cautioned Yediyurappa to be careful with people surrounding him and reminded him that he got the second chance for a reason which he should use to leave an indelible mark on the people of the state.

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He also sought a relook at the Representation of the People Act and the Lokayukta Act.

On the Lokayukta Act, Kumar wondered why there was no clause to explain what would happen if a public servant refused to provide details of assets and liabilities.

Further he sought to know why the election commission never orders an inquiry when someone declares massive assets to find out where the money came from.

"Once the affidavit is filed, it should be sent to the Enforcement Directorate and an inquiry should happen. Every detail should be laid bare before the people.

Then only the democracy will survive in this country. Then only, it will give relief to the citizens of this country," Kumar said.

Seventeen rebel MLAs (Congress-14 and JDS-3) had skipped the Assembly session during the trust vote proceedings on July 23, bringing down the Kumaraswamy government which lost the confidence motion with 99 members voting in favour and 105 against it.

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