Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three rebel lawmakers.
Two of them — Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli who belonged to the Congress had earlier resigned this month. One Independent lawmaker R Shankar, representing Ranebennur — supported the coalition and merged with the Congress.
The three disqualified MLAs cannot contest elections till the 15th state assembly is dissolved.
While addressing the press, Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar said:
“I have rejected the resignations… the way they have come — it compelled me to arrive at the inference that resignations were not voluntary and genuine. I don’t have power to penalise the 3 MLAs. Everybody is watching my behaviour… If the finance bill not passed by July 31… it is my responsibility that such a financial impasse is not created. By Monday, it will be 29th. I have to discharge my obligation.”
The Speaker added that he would take decisions on the other rebel lawmakers soon.
The disqualification today also dashes hopes if any ministerial berths were promised under a BJP government.
With the disqualification, the strength of the house falls to 222 bringing majority mark to 112.
The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government lost motion of confidence after 15 legislators resigned, and two independent lawmakers switched sides.
The Speaker’s decision on the resignation or disqualifications would eventually decide if there would be a presidential rule in the state or a BJP government.
However, critics have stated that the disqualifications were done to create fear among the other rebel lawmakers, urging them to return.