Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. File photo/ANI
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. File photo/ANI

Cong, BJP hail SC verdict on Karnataka rebel MLAs

ANI | Updated: Jul 17, 2019 16:23 IST

New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): The Congress and the BJP both have hailed the Supreme Court's Wednesday verdict in which the apex court said that 15 rebel Karnataka Congress-JDS MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the trust vote on Thursday.
"This landmark judgement has given strength to the democratic process. Some BJP friends are trying to misguide that the whip is not valid but the party can issue a whip and take the necessary action as per anti-defection law if any MLA violates the whip," said Congress leader and Minister D K Shivakumar.
On the other hand, BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa termed the apex court order as a victory for the opposition and urged Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to resign immediately.
"The Chief Minister has lost his mandate when there is no majority. He must resign tomorrow. I welcome the Supreme Court's decision. It is the victory of the Constitution and democracy, a moral victory for rebel MLAs," said Yeddyurappa.
The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose on Wednesday observed that 15 rebel MLAs cannot be forced to take part in the proceedings of the House.
It, however, added that Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar cannot be forced to take a decision within a time frame on the resignations of the rebel MLAs.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also tweeted about the SC verdict, expressing his disappointment.
"SC's order nullifying the Whip and by extension, operation of Constitution's Xth Schedule to punish MLA's betraying the public mandate sets a terrible judicial precedent! Blanket protection to MLAs, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard-of," Surjewala tweeted.
Jagadish Shettar, another BJP leader from Karnataka, said: "There is anarchy in the state because of H D Kumaraswamy. He should resign immediately after this verdict and not wait for the trust vote."
The rebel Karnataka MLAs, meanwhile, have said they were happy with the verdict and added that they would not go to attend the proceedings of the Assembly tomorrow.
"We honour the Supreme Court's verdict. We all are together. We stand by our decision. There is no question of going to the Assembly," he said.
Mukul Rohatgi, the lawyer of rebel MLAs, said: "In view of the trust vote on Thursday, the SC has said two important things -- 15 MLAs will not be compelled to attend the House tomorrow. All 15 MLAs are given the liberty that may or may not go to the House tomorrow."
Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar too welcomed the order, while Kumaraswamy refused to comment.
The plea was filed by Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, S T Somashekar, Arbail Sivaram Hebbar and Mahesh Kumathalli from the Congress and K Gopalaiah, H D Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda from the JDS.
Five other rebel MLAs -- K Sudhakar, Roshan Baig, MTB Nagaraj, Muniratna and Anand Singh -- had approached the court on July 13 contending they had resigned "voluntarily" and that their resignation must be accepted by the Speaker.
The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government had slumped into crisis after these MLAs resigned from the membership of the Assembly earlier this month. (ANI)