Bengaluru: The 17 disqualified Congress and JD(S) MLAs for whom CM B.S. Yediyurappa has kept half of his cabinet berths vacant, are hoping that the Supreme Court will revert their disqualification case to the new Speaker. Sources said their contention is that they were not heard by then Speaker Ramesh Kumar before he announced his decision to disqualify them.
If the apex court sets aside the order and refers it to the Speaker office again (the new Speaker is Visveshwara Hegde Kageri), it would be like a battle half won for them as none of the disqualified legislators are keen on going before the electorate again. If their case is referred to the Speaker, nothing can prevent them from becoming ministers in the BJP government as they continue to be MLAs with their resignations not accepted. The disqualified legislators have now moved the Supreme Court questioning the Speaker's orders and their cases are expected to be taken up for hearing this week.
Both the Congress and JD(S) are looking forward to bypolls in these constituencies in a bid to take revenge on the rebels who ousted the previous coalition government.
The 17 lawmakers were disqualified by Ramesh Kumar for alleged anti-party activity on the basis of a bunch of petitions filed by Congress and JD(S) leaders.
One of the disqualified legislators told Deccan Chronicle that they would be appealing to the apex court to revert their case to the Speaker's office on the grounds that they were not heard by Mr Ramesh Kumar.
According to him, there was an earlier instance when the Speaker during the tenure of the Siddaramaiah government, had sat on the disqualification petition filed by the Janata Dal (Secular) against six of its members for voting for the Congress candidate during the biennial Rajya Sabha elections, thereby violating the party whip.
The JD(S) petition lost its merit after a new government and a new Speaker were installed. Going by this logic, the Speaker's office may take its own time to decide on the petitions with no time limit fixed for disposing any petition seeking disqualification of MLAs. If the case reverts to the Speaker, the disqualified MLAS can appeal to incumbent Speaker, Mr Kageri to give them an audience and question their disqualification by the previous Speaker.
The Congress and JD(S) too may have to file fresh petitions before the current Speaker demanding that they (rebels) be disqualified, said sources. But all this is possible only if the apex court agrees to revert their (disqualified MLAs) petitions to the Speaker's office.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has kept half of the berths reserved for the disqualified legislators and the second round of cabinet expansion will take place once after a decision is taken by the top court....