Bengaluru: The disqualified MLAs who ensured the fall of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka and helped bring the BJP to power seem to be getting desperate.
First, they moved the Supreme Court, requesting an early decision on their petition, which questions the grounds for disqualification stated by then-assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar. And now, they have alleged that their phones were tapped by then-chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, while also requesting the BJP to speed up the process of inducting them into the party.
Phone-tapping in Karnataka hit the headlines last week when a tape surfaced, purportedly containing the voice of Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao lobbying for the post around six months ago with a broker close to the Congress. Now, the disqualified MLAs have alleged that their phones were also tapped, and have demanded a full inquiry, going as far as to say Kumaraswamy wanted to “blackmail” them into supporting him.
“We demand that a thorough inquiry is conducted by the chief minister and the entire report is placed in front of the public. All those who are involved in the tapping should be booked,” former state JD(S) president and disqualified MLA H. Vishwanath told ThePrint.
However, Kumarswamy said in a tweet that he had no hand in phone tapping.
“I have always said that the CM’s seat is not permanent. Just to keep that seat, I do not have to resort to phone tapping. There have been allegations that my government has done it, and they are baseless,” he said.
Also read: ‘Leaked tapes’ of Karnataka IPS officer, murky power deal — scandal hits Yediyurappa govt
Hopes pinned on Supreme Court
Sources in the rebel MLAs’ camp say they are hopeful that the Supreme Court will refer their case back to the assembly speaker, because Kumar, who disqualified them, resigned soon after B.S. Yediyurappa took over as chief minister. BJP’s six-time MLA Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has now been sworn in as speaker, giving them fresh hope.
The rebels, in their petition, have alleged that Kumar did not give them adequate time to respond to the disqualification notices served to them. They also believe that resigning as MLA is their fundamental right, and the way they were disqualified was a violation of this right.
“Had we been given enough time to respond, we could have provided all the required documents to the speaker, but he was in a tearing hurry,” another disqualified MLA said while wishing to remain nameless.
Speed up induction into BJP
The disqualified MLAs have also reportedly written a letter to the BJP high command to speed up the process of inducting them into the party, so that they are not left in the lurch. The legislators are back in their respective constituencies as Karnataka reels under floods, but they have been also working to convince their constituents why they switched sides.
“We have sacrificed a lot, and many of us have been facing flak from our constituents, so it is high time that we get a clear idea what the decision is,” said one leader on the condition of anonymity.
Asked about the delay, a senior BJP leader said party chief Amit Shah had intervened and a decision would be taken soon.
“It is because of the sacrifices made by these legislators that we were able to form our government. We will not let their efforts go in vain,” said the leader who did not wish to be identified.
However, the disqualified MLAs are anxious because Shah has asked Yediyurappa to come to Delhi on 16 August to finalise the expansion of his ministry. Currently, Yediyurappa is the lone minister.
More MLAs could follow
Bengaluru-based political analyst Mahadev Prakash says the delay in induction has not hurt the disqualified MLAs’ resolve to join the BJP.
“There are many more JD(S) and Congress MLAs who are ready to jump ship as soon as the case of these rebels is closed. My information is that at least another 15 to 20 MLAs may leave their parties to join Yediyurappa, and that will help the BJP stabilise its government,” Prakash said.
Also read: Delay in Yediyurappa cabinet formation: Is Karnataka not a priority for the BJP?
Any MLA orMP who resigns after getting elected duly or gets disqualified as per parlimentary rules have no business to contest again as they have resigned failing their electorate for life not for 6 years . Also they have to pay exchequre full expenditure for new election.. This is must for scoundrels getting elected and playing games…Also people who get elected two places and resign one should pay election commsision in full for holding reelection and should give all who lost election to cover their expences with interest.and compensate public loss for new election..Public money does not grow on trees
Politicians arw playing games with people.. This is minimum penalty that can be given..
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