Karnataka crisis: Days after trust vote, speaker disqualifies three MLAs
The political crisis in Karnataka, which was sparked due to a slew of resignations, took a new twist on Thursday after speaker KR Ramesh Kumar disqualified three rebel MLAs. Ramesh was convinced the resignations of the legislators weren't voluntary. He said a decision on the fate of other MLAs will be taken in the next couple of days. Here's what went down.
Who are the MLAs who were disqualified?
Congress' Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli, who represent Gokak and Athani assembly constituencies respectively, were disqualified. The third MLA who faced the brunt is R Shankar, an independent legislator from Ranebennur. Ramesh said Shankar had merged his party with Congress, so he was effectively a Congressman. All three have been disqualified till the end of the current assembly term, i.e., May 2023.
Action was taken against legislators under anti-defection law
Further, Ramesh also directed that the trio cannot contest polls and get elected to the assembly. "They have violated the provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law) and therefore are disqualified," he added.
Earlier this month, Kumaraswamy's government was shaken by multiple resignations
It should be recalled that HD Kumaraswamy's government in the state, which was barely 14 months old, was jolted after 18 MLAs ditched it. The first batch of resignations came in on July 6, but Ramesh didn't accept them immediately. The rebel MLAs then approached the Supreme Court, accusing Ramesh of helping the Congress-JD(S) coalition by sitting on their resignations.
When crisis went to Supreme Court, bench gave balanced judgment
Not putting Ramesh on a deadline, the apex court said last week that he can decide on resignations at a time he deems fit. In court, Ramesh had said he wanted more time to understand what transpired the flurry of resignations. The bench also said the rebel MLAs, whom both Congress and JD(S) tried to placate, can't be forced to attend the trust vote.
And then, trust vote started
Hanging by a thin thread due to the resignations, Kumaraswamy faced trust vote. The process started on Thursday, last week. On Friday, two deadlines given by Governor Vajubhai Vala were breached. When the assembly resumed on Monday, Ramesh said he intends to finish trust vote soon. The process finally reached a climax on Tuesday, and Kumaraswamy's government collapsed. Soon, he tendered his resignation.
Disqualifications will affect formation of next government
Now, the speaker's decision on resignations will play a crucial rule in the formation of the next government. If BJP, which has been sitting in opposition since May 2018, doesn't choose to form a minority government, Karnataka may go under President's rule. More prominently, it affects the Finance Bill which has to be passed by July 31.
Facing immense pressure, Ramesh said he's happy with his job
"On different occasions in the last 15-20 days, sometimes one group wanted some things expeditiously, other people wanted it to be slowed down and vice versa. I have done my job to the dictates of my conscience," Ramesh told NDTV.
Notably, BJP hasn't staked claim to form government, yet
Meanwhile, there is little clarity on next government formation. BS Yeddyurappa, who is eyeing a fourth term as CM, held several meetings in the last few days. Separately, several BJP leaders met with party president Amit Shah to decide the future course of action. However, Kumaraswamy feels no one can give a stable government in the present political atmosphere, hinting the crisis will continue.Share this timeline