News Karnataka
Sunday, December 04 2022

BJP govt may fall if disqualified MLAs lose in by-polls: Mallikarjun Kharge

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Bengaluru/New Delhi: Commenting on the upcoming Karnataka Assembly by-polls on Friday, November 15, Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge stated that the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led state government may not survive if the disqualified MLAs are defeated.

It can be recalled that of the 17 MLAs (formerly of the Congress and JD(S)) that were disqualified by former speaker Ramesh Kumar, 15 joined the BJP on Thursday and from among them, 13 were chosen to contest in the by-polls in their respective constituencies. The list was released on Thursday itself.

Speaking to ANI, the Congress leader said, “In the by-polls, not all disqualified MLAs will be elected back. In one or two exceptional cases, they will win. When they will be defeated, the BJP government will not remain in a firm position. Thus, the BJP has to take some steps to save its government.”

Criticising the BJP for indulging in “horse-trading” (Operation Kamala), Kharge said, “Earlier, the BJP had promised those MLAs who quit the Congress and JD(S), that they would be given tickets and made ministers. It is a game of money. Some were threatened with an investigation by the Enforcement Directorate and CBI. The BJP is ridiculing the Constitution and moving away from the oath it took to strengthen the democracy.”

By-polls will be conducted in 15 Assembly constituencies on December 5. These by-polls have been necessitated after their respective MLAs, belonging to the Congress and JD(S) cadres, resigned from their posts, ultimately resulting in the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government led by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. Just before the trust vote that put the final nail in the coalition’s coffin, the then Speaker of the House, Ramesh Kumar had disqualified them for defying their respective party’s whip to be present for the crucial vote. On November 13, the Supreme Court had upheld Kumar’s decision to disqualify the 17 rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law but said that they could contest in the upcoming by-elections.

(With inputs from ANI)

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