Former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday welcomed Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar's decision to disqualify three of its rebel MLAs involved in anti-party activities. In a major development to the ongoing political turbulence in Karnataka, Independent MLA R Shankar, Congress MLAs Ramesh Jharkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli have been disqualified as member of the state legislative Assembly till the current term ends in 2023.
Hailing the move, Siddaramaiah said, "I welcome the decision of the Honourable Speaker to disqualify the three MLAs of our party involved in anti-party activities. Such stringent resolutions are essential to protect the democracy. This historic decision will be a warning for those who violate the mandate for their self-achievement".
ಪಕ್ಷ ವಿರೋಧಿ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗಿಯಾದ ನಮ್ಮ ಪಕ್ಷದ ಮೂವರು ಶಾಸಕರನ್ನು ಅನರ್ಹಗೊಳಿಸಿದ ಮಾನ್ಯ ಸಭಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರ ನಿರ್ಣಯವನ್ನು ಸ್ವಾಗತಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಪ್ರಜಾಪ್ರಭುತ್ವದ ರಕ್ಷಣೆಗಾಗಿ ಇಂಥ ಕಠಿಣ ನಿರ್ಣಯಗಳು ಅತ್ಯಗತ್ಯ. ಸ್ವಾರ್ಥ ಸಾಧನೆಗಾಗಿ ಜನಾದೇಶವನ್ನು ಉಲ್ಲಂಘಿಸುವವರಿಗೆ ಈ ಐತಿಹಾಸಿಕ ನಿರ್ಣಯ ಎಚ್ಚರಿಕೆಯ ಗಂಟೆಯಾಗಲಿದೆ.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 25, 2019
KPCC President Dinesh Gundu Rao also praised the Speaker’s ruling and termed it a "victory of democracy".
R Shankar is one of the two Independent MLAs who withdrew support to the Kumaraswamy government and switched sides ahead of trust vote held in Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday. Jarkiholi and Kumathalli too submitted their resignations in early July, pushing the 14-month old wobbly Congress-JDS government to the brink of collapse.
Meanwhile, the decision to disqualify the Karnataka rebels will certainly highten the suspense over government formation exercise in the state two days after the collapse of the Congress-JDS ministry.
The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle triggered by the raft of resignations by 15 rebel MLAs.
However, the political turmoil in the southern state may prolong further with Speaker Kumar yet to decide on both resignations and disqualification pleas of 14 other MLAs pending before him.