Bengaluru: Rattled by the Elections Commission’s decision to hold bypolls to 15 assembly constituencies on October 21, the disqualified Congress and JD(S) MLAs held an emergency meeting in Bengaluru to discuss their future course of action on Saturday.
The former legislators, who met at the guesthouse in Aranya Bhavan, near Malleswaram, reportedly considered several options, including obtaining a stay on their disqualification in the Supreme Court on September 23.
“The Election Commission’s decision was unexpected. But we are ready to for a legal battle and seek a stay on the disqualification order of the Speaker before the Supreme Court as this will help us contest the byelections,” said one disqualified Congress MLA. Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa, who rushed to meet the former legislators, cancelling his previous engagements, also summoned advocate general, Prabhulinga Navadagi to seek his advice in the matter.
A visibly tense Chief Minister tried his best to pacify the annoyed disqualified MLAs, but they accused him of leaving them in the lurch after coming to power and shouted at his assistant, Santhosh, for not responding to their calls or doing their work, according to sources. Hitting out at the BJP for showing little interest in offering them legal assistance, they reportedly recalled that it had earlier promised early disposal of their case in the Supreme Court.
In response, Mr. Yediyurappa is said to have assured the former MLAs that he would stand by them and there was no question of the party disowning them. “We will press for a stay order in the Supreme Court. If it doesn’t give it, the party will give tickets to your relatives in the bypolls,” he promised, going by sources.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, disqualified MLA S.T. Somashekar said the former legislators would go to Delhi to meet their advocate on Sunday. “ We will seek a stay order from the Supreme Court. Our advocates have assured us this is possible and so there is no worry about the byelections. We will contest them,” he asserted.