14 Karnataka Rebels Disqualified Day Before Trust Vote

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New Delhi:Eleven rebel lawmakers of the Congress and three from HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular were disqualified by Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar today. The move brings down the majority mark in the assembly within the reach of the newly formed BJP government, which is expected to face a trust vote in the state assembly tomorrow.
On Thursday, two days after the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance government in the state, the Speaker had disqualified three rebel MLAs, in a move that heightened the suspense over the exercise of government formation.

Kumar, speaking at a press conference, said the way he was being pressured by colleagues because of his post had “pushed me into a sea of depression”. Kumar added that he had promised that he would take a decision “in a couple of days” and was honouring the deadline. This is not drama or manipulation… I have been behaving in a manner in which a gentleman has to behave,” he said.

Eleven of the lawmakers disqualified are from the Congress and three from the Janata Dal (S). The resignation of the MLAs which began on July 6, eventually led to the collapse of the H D Kumaraswamy government on July 23 after a trust vote.

He said that on being advised by the chief minister he had directed the secretariat to convene a session on Monday at 11 am. “Therefore I have to make my pronouncement on the remaining complaints pending before the Speaker.”

At present, there are 222 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. Three Congress MLAs R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli were disqualified on Thursday. The BJP, with 105 MLAs, has an edge over the coalition, which garnered 99 votes in the floor test held on Tuesday.

“The way I’m being pressured to deal with the situation being a speaker. All these things have pushed me into a sea of depression,” Ramesh said just before announcing the disqualifications.

“I had 13 resignations petition left before me and 14 disqualification petitions. I have considered all the petitions before me. I had asked the members who resigned to appear before me to convince me that their resignations were voluntary and genuine. They failed to do so,” he said after announcing the names of the MLAs who were disqualified.

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