A day after the Supreme Court order, 16 disqualified MLAs joined BJP at its office in Bengaluru on Thursday. The only exception was Roshan Baig. Sources say that the RSS was not in favour of Baig joining the BJP. The development comes after the top court paved the way for the 17 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators to contest the December 5 bypolls for 15 seats in Karnataka. Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan CN had said they will be joining the BJP on November 14. "They (disqualified legislators) have expressed interest to join BJP and have met our senior leaders. They have been welcomed to join the party," he said. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, he said, they will be joining the party tomorrow at 10.30 a.m in Bengaluru in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel.
The 16 leaders who joined the BJP today are – Ramesh Jharkiholi, Vishwanath, Mahesh Kumtahali, S Patil, Pratapgouda Patil, Shivram Hebbar, BC Patil, Anand Singh, DrSudhakar, Byrathi Basvaraj, ST Somshekhar, Munniratna, J Gopalaiah, KC Narayangouda, R Shankar and MTB Nagraj.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar but allowed them to contest the December 5 bypolls in the state. The court struck down the portion of the order of then Speaker by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Assembly in 2023.