Supreme Court of India (File Photo)
Rebel JDS MLA AH Vishwanath, who was disqualified by the Karnataka Speaker on Sunday, said the decision was "against the law" and he and other aggrieved legislators would approach the Supreme Court for redressal on Monday. Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more rebel MLAs - 11 from the Congress and three from the JDS - under the anti-defection law till the end of the current term of the House in 2023. Kumar had disqualified three Congress rebel MLAs on Thursday.
"The disqualification is against the law...just under a whip served on them, you cannot force the legislators to come to the House," Vishwanath told PTI over phone.
"The speaker has disqualified 20 members of the legislature on the grounds that they have not attended the House...so against this decision pronounced by the Speaker, we are approaching the Supreme Court on Monday," the MLA said from an undisclosed location.
The disqualifications came a day ahead of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa seeking the trust vote in the assembly to prove his majority. In Bengaluru, another disqualified rebel MLA from Maski, Pratap Gowda Patil, asked the voters in a video message not to panic and said they were confident of emerging victorious in the Supreme Court.
"Dear voters and my well-wishers, Speaker has orderedmy disqualification from the assembly... there is no need to panic, we are challenging this in the Supreme Court. I’m confident that we will be victorious in the court," Patil said.
Speaking to a local news channel, another disqualified MLA Munirathana said they were aware that they would be disqualified as Congress leaders had threatened them about it.
"... our own party leaders had said we will disqualifyif you if (you) go out... we are not small children or we have notgone out without knowledge of others," he said, adding that theywould face the action legally.
Alleging that many Congress leaders wanted thiscoalition government to end, but had not acted on it, Munirathnaalleged that leaders within his party did not even cooperate with Kumaraswamy to run the government smoothly.
"They (Congress leaders) are playing a game now, to show that they were loyal to JDS...we will reveal everything to people in coming days," he added.
Shivaram Hebbar, who represented Yellapur, alleged in a Facebook post that the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the rebels was done in a partisan manner under pressure and the matterwould reach the Supreme Court soon.
Expressing confidence of getting justice from the Apex court, hesaid he has complete faith in his voters and would soon submithimself before the people’s court. "I will soon reveal to you the reasons for mydecisions and will take further steps after consulting you," he told his voters and supporters.
The Congress and JDS, whose government collapsed on Tuesday last after rebellion by a section of their MLAs, had made petitions to the speaker to disqualify their errant members.