Cracking the whip, JD(S) today suspended its eight rebel MLAs who voted against its official candidate and supported Congress in the biennial elections to fill four Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka.
Caught off guard by the open defiance of rebels, a red-faced JD(S) leadership also issued a notice asking them why they should not be expelled from the party for defying the party whip in the elections held yesterday, which saw the party candidate, businessman B M Farooq, secure 33 votes against the party strength of 40.
Addressing a meeting of party MLAs, Panchayat Members and office-bearers, JD(S) National President and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda said, "all the eight members have been suspended and notice have been issued to them."
He said, according to the party constitution, a three- member enquiry committee would be set up, which after going through their (suspended MLAs) replies to the notice, would decide on the expulsion.
Also accusing the MLAs of indulging in cross-voting during biennial elections to fill in seven seats of Karnataka Legislative Council from Legislative Assembly held on Friday, the party has said that if there is no response they would be expelled in accordance with the party constitution.
The rebel MLAs who faced action are Zameer Ahmed Khan, Chaluvaraya Swamy, Iqbal Ansari, Balakrishna, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Gopalaiah, Bheema Nayak and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy who had voted for Congress party's third candidate for Rajya Sabha K C Ramamurthy, paving the way for his resounding victory securing 52 votes aided by them and Independents.
The party earlier today adopted a resolution asking its president to suspend 8 MLAs and to expel them for their indiscipline.
The motion was moved by MLA Y S V Datta and seconded by another MLA Ningaiah and MLC T A Saravana.
Union Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and Congress' Jairam Ramesh, Oscar Fernandes and K C Ramamurthy had won Rajya Sabha seats from Karnataka.
It was a harder and more humiliating blow for JD(S) as 8 MLAs indulged in cross-voting as against the expected five.
Gowda during the meeting vowed to build and strengthen the party by travelling across the state.
Accusing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar and BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa of conspiring against JD(S), he said "the agenda of this trio is to finish JD(S), but they will not succeed in it."