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Coalition down: Fate of the Karnataka rebels is now in Speaker’s hand

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Bengaluru, July 24: The Speaker of Karnataka, Ramesh Kumar had summoned the rebel MLAs to appear before him. The Speaker decided to take up a complaint that sought for their disqualification.

While the trust vote is over and the Congress-JD(S) coalition has collapsed the fate of the 15 MLAs who resigned still hangs in the balance. While many are hoping to become ministers in the new government, their fate lies in the hands of the Speaker.

Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar

The big question is whether the Speaker will accept their resignation or will go ahead and disqualify them. If their resignations are accepted, then they could be accommodated as ministers in the next government.

With the fall of the Karnataka coalition, it is now 'Congress mukth South India'

However in the case of a disqualification, they cannot become ministers nor can they contest a by-election for the current assembly. They can contest an election in the next assembly. A disqualification would also mean that they cannot be elected as Members of the Legislative Council.

If the MLAs are disqualified, they are sure to challenge the same before the court. The disqualification complaint has been filed on the ground that they disobeyed the whips that were issued by the Congress and JD(S). However they would look to interpret the same citing the July 17 order of the Supreme Court. The court, while giving the Speaker a free hand to decide on their resignations, however noted that the rebels cannot be compelled to go to the assembly.

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This point would require interpretation. The long and shot of it is that in case of a disqualification, there would be a long drawn legal process before the rebels could be accommodated.

In case, President's rule is imposed and the state goes for an election in the next six months, then nothing can stop these MLAs from contesting the polls.

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