Congress seeks Yediyurappa’s resignation over SC judgment, says BJP stands exposed

6

The Congress on Wednesday said the BJP-led government stands “completely exposed” after the Supreme Court verdict upholding the decision of former Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Addressing a press conference here, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there were legal and political facets of the judgment.

Singhvi, who was counsel for Ramesh, said that the court has upheld the then Speaker’s order on various counts.

He said defection has been called “constitutional sin” in parliamentary debates and disqualification had been provided for “unethical malpractices” and “other allurements”.

“The Speaker’s well-reasoned order showing the unethical malpractices from the only beneficiary from this defection was upheld,” Singhvi said.

The rebel legislators were disqualified by the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar in July under the anti-defection law after they tendered their resignation.

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 fall of the Congress-JDS coalition government, paving the way for the 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.

Singhvi said the “people who were allured tried to pre-empt disqualification punishment by trying to resign.”

“The Speaker punctured this over-clever argument,” he said, adding “if it is a constitution sin, you cannot employ camouflages, techniques to avoid disqualification.”

He said the disqualification “operates from the date of culpability” and “resignations will not cure.”

Singhvi said the Speaker was perhaps not right legally on his order about there not being eligible to contest future elections.

“Once disqualified, it does not mean he cannot fight the next election. That part which prevented them from standing in elections, that has not been upheld,” he said.

The Congress leader said BJP leaders talk about moral values, corruption, ethical values but they “stand exposed”. He accused the BJP of ‘luring” MLAs through ‘operation Kamal’.

“You use every kind of allurement to lure Congress and JD-S MLAs. And what is the definition of corruption? They stand exposed. We call for the immediate resignation of the chief minister We ask the prime minister, other members to do soul searching,” he said.

“The government stands exposed completely. Every kind of malpractice has been practiced,” he alleged.

Singhvi said a BJP leader in Maharashtra had also talked of mobilizing the majority and the party issued a clarification later.

The elections for 15 out of 17 seats in Karnataka 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.

(Courtesy: ANI)