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Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh disqualifies three rebel MLAs

By Vishal S

Bengaluru, July 25: Two days after coalition chief minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the trust motion in the Assembly, Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh on Thursday disqualified three rebel MLAs. The Speaker disqualified Congress MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli. Independent MLA R Shankar has also been disqualified.

Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh

Speaker said, R Shankar, who had been elected to the Karnataka Assembly on a KPJP ticket, had requested that his party be merged with the Congress on June 14, 2019. Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumnatahalli didn't inform me in advance that they were coming to give their resignations, said Ramesh Kumar.

It must be recalled that Congress had sought disqualification of Mahesh and Ramesh Jarkiholi in February itself.

[No MLA has sought my protection, says Speaker Ramesh Kumar][No MLA has sought my protection, says Speaker Ramesh Kumar]

Speaker went on suggest that R Shankar came under the purview of the anti-defection law after he wrote to the governor on July 8 pledging his unequivocal support to the BJP.

"Anti-defection law cannot be used by political parties as a monstrous law. It is a provision to curb the evil of defection. This order was given on mahashivratri day, even that resignation was not in order. Disqualification is admonishing. When you are disqualified, you cannot seek...there was no consistency in his statement. I had asked him to file another affidavit, even that was not in order. I am setting a new precedent, let the lawmakers open their eyes and know about it," Speaker KR Ramesh said.

The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by HD Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the Assembly, bringing to an end the three-week long power struggle triggered by the raft of resignations.

Kumar's pronouncement of the ruling on the disqualification pleas by the Congress and the JDS as well as the MLAs' resignations in a phased manner is being seen as a tough message to other rebels, who are still holed in a Mumbai hotel and have remained adamant about not taking back their resignations.

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