Bengaluru: All the 14 Karnataka rebel legislators, who were disqualified by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday for defying their party whips to attend the House on July 23, said they would challenge the Speaker`s decision in the Supreme Court on Monday.
A day before the trust vote on the BS Yediyurappa government in the Karnataka Assembly, the Speaker disqualified 14 rebel MLAs of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) for defying their party whips to attend the House on July 23, when former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy put the confidence motion to vote for proving majority, but failed to do.
The rebel MLAs said they would challenge their disqualification in the Supreme Court as their joint petitions had sought its directive for accepting forthwith their resignations re-submitted on July 11 before the Congress and the JD-S issued a whip to them to attend the session on July 23 and long before former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy moved the confidence motion on July 18.
The 14 MLAs had remained absent from the House on July 23, when former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy put the confidence motion to vote for proving majority but failed to do.
"As the remaining 11 Congress and 3 JD-S rebel legislators also defied their respective party`s whip by remaining absent from the Assembly on July 23 when the motion was to put vote, they have violated the anti-defection law," the Speaker told reporters as one of the reasons for disqualifying them under the 10th Schedule, read with the Article 191(2) of the Constitution.
The motion was defeated by voice vote and division of votes on the insistence of the then opposition BJP leader BS Yeddiyurappa.
Then coalition allies polled 99 votes in favour of the motion and 105 by the BJP against it (motion), in an Assembly of 205, including the Speaker and one nominated member, with 103 as the revised half-way for a simple majority.
The 11 Congress lawmakers disqualified are Pratap Gouda Patil (Maski), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), ST Someshekhar (Yeshwantapur), Byrati Basavraj (K.R. Puram), Anand Singh (Vijayanagar), R Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar), Muniratna (R.R. Nagar), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur), MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote) and Shrimant Patil (Kagawad).
The three JD-S legislators are A.H. Vishwanath (Hunsur), Narayan Gowda (K.R. Pete) and K. Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout).
Three rebel Congress legislators -- Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Mahesh Kumatahalli (Athani) and R Shankar (Ranebennur) -- were disqualified on July 25 for defying their party`s whip to attend the Assembly and vote in favour of the motion.
Shrimant Patil was disqualified on a complaint against him by Congress Legislature Party (CLP leader Siddaramaiah and its state President Dinesh Gundu Rao) for being absent in the Assembly though he had informed the Speaker on July 18 that he was in a private hospital in Mumbai for treatment.
"All the 14 legislators have been disqualified as members of the 15th Karnataka Legislative Assembly from their respective segments across the state for defying their party under Section 208 of the 10th Schedule, read with the Article 191 (2) of the Constitution," said Kumar.
Shankar was disqualified for giving a letter to state Governor Vajubhai Vala that he had resigned as a cabinet minister on July 8 and would support the BJP in forming the government and proving majority in the Assembly.
The disqualification of all the 17 legislators, including 14 of the Congress and 3 JD-S has reduced the Assembly strength to 208, with 105 as the new halfway mark for proving majority by the BJP on Monday when its Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa takes the floor test before moving the Finance Bill for fiscal 2019-20 for the approval of the House.