Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday issued whip to all 37 MLAs of JD(S), including three rebel legislators Narayana Gowda, Gopalaiah and H Vishwanath, asking them to be present in the Vidhana Soudha (State Assembly) during the trust vote on Thursday.
Kumaraswamy warned that if MLAs do not attend the House and vote against the party whip even after attending the session on the day of the trust vote, strict action will be initiated under the rule of Anti-Defection Law and that MLA will be disqualified from his post.
Karnataka: JD(S) issues whip to its MLAs including rebels H Vishwanath, Narayana Gowda, H Gopalaiah, to be present for trust vote at Vidhana Soudha tomorrow. Whip states if session isn't attended or voting is done against party, action will be initiated under Anti-defection law pic.twitter.com/BTXOqyE8ns
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2019
Earlier in the day, a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose observed that 15 rebel MLAs cannot be forced to take part in the proceedings of the House.
The bench, however, added that Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar cannot be forced to take a decision within a time frame on the resignations of the rebel MLAs.
Mukul Rohatgi, the lawyer of rebel MLAs, said, "In view of the trust vote on Thursday, the SC has said two important things - 15 MLAs will not be compelled to attend the House tomorrow. All 15 MLAs are given the liberty that may or may not go to the House tomorrow."
Speaker Kumar too welcomed the order, while Kumaraswamy refused to comment.
The plea was filed by Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, S T Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar and Mahesh Kumathalli from the Congress and K Gopalaiah, H D Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda from the JDS.
Five other rebel MLAs - K Sudhakar, Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj, Muniratna and Anand Singh - had approached the court on July 13 contending they had resigned "voluntarily" and that their resignation must be accepted by the Speaker.
The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government had slumped into crisis after these MLAs resigned from the membership of the Assembly earlier this month.