SC verdict on rebel MLAs proves BJP\'s hand in toppling Cong-JDS govt: Gundu Rao

Earlier in the day, the Apex Court upheld the decision of then Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs

Bengaluru: Karnataka Congress unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Wednesday said that the Supreme court verdict which upheld disqualification of rebel Congress-JD(S) legislators proved that BJP used unconstitutional means to fabricate a majority and alleged that the ruling party was behind the toppling of the coalition government.

"Supreme Court has upheld the disqualification of all the 17 MLA's who defected from Congress & JDS. It also proves that the Karnataka BJP govt is an illegal govt. BJP had used unconstitutional means to fabricate a majority. It should be immediately dismissed," he tweeted.

"I welcome the #SupremeCourt verdict. The hand of BJP in toppling the coalition govt is now clear. The involvement of BS Yediyurappa and Amit Shah is now proved. If BJP has any morality left, they should not give tickets to these disqualified MLA's to contest," Rao said in another tweet.

Earlier in the day, the Apex Court upheld the decision of then Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs under the anti-defection law but allowed them to contest the upcoming by-elections in the state.

The rebel legislators were disqualified by the then speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in July under the anti-defection law after they tendered resignations.

They were also barred from contesting polls for the duration of the current assembly, which is slated to end in 2023.

The move had led to the falling of the Congress-JD (S) coalition government, paving way for BJP to stake claim to form a new government in the state.

The disgruntled MLAs then moved the apex court challenging their disqualification. They sought quashing of the order passed by the speaker and prohibition imposed on them to contest elections. The matter was reserved by the court on October 25.

The elections for 15 out of 17 seats are slated to be held on December 5. They were earlier scheduled to be conducted on October 21 but were deferred by the Election Commission (EC) as the petitions of disqualified MLAs were pending in the top court.

The poll body had withheld the elections for two seats -- Maski and Rajarajeshwari -- as the petitions against these Assembly constituencies are pending in the Karnataka High Court.

After their disqualification, the strength of the 224-member Assembly had come down to 207. This had brought down the majority mark to 104. The BJP, which helms the government in the state, has 106 MLAs in the Assembly.

With the by-poll elections, the majority mark will climb to 113 and the BJP will have to win a minimum of seven out of fifteen seats to keep its majority.

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