Karnataka Congress Seeks Disqualification Of Rebel Lawmakers

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Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah met the Speaker on Monday (File)


Cracking the whip, the Congress on Monday sought disqualification of four rebel lawmakers under the Anti-Defection law after they repeatedly remained defiant, skipping the assembly session and legislature party meetings.

The Congress petitioned the assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar, seeking action against lawmakers Ramesh Jarkiholi, Umesh Jadhav, Mahesh Kumathali and B Nagendra weeks after giving them warnings to mend their ways and fall in line.

Congress Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met the Speaker and gave him a letter along with supporting documents to disqualify the four lawmakers.

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Siddaramaiah, who also heads the JDS-Congress coordination committee, was accompanied by deputy chief minister Dr G Parameshwara and Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao.

Later, Ms Rao tweeted, "@siddaramaiah and myself have petitioned the Hon''ble Speaker, to disqualify 4 of our MLAs under the rules of the anti-defection law. Despite repeated notices & issuing of whips they have been found to be in violation by their continued absence."

The four lawmakers skipped the CLP meeting on January 18, which was meant to be a show of strength in the backdrop of BJP's alleged bid to topple the coalition government, and another CLP meet Friday last despite a whip.

They were also among those absent from the assembly since the budget session began Wednesday last.

Jarkiholi was upset after he was dropped in the ministry rejig on December 22.

The errant MLAs were earlier given notices, seeking an explanation for their conduct.

Another Congress MLA JN Ganesh, who was reportedly on
the BJP's radar for desertion, is absconding ever since he allegedly assaulted fellow lawmaker Anand Singh during a brawl at a resort recently.

Two independent MLAs have already announced withdrawal of their support to the coalition government and backed BJP.

A possible disqualification of the four MLAs might deepen the crisis for the ruling coalition as in that event, it would be hanging by the thread with its strength just above the half way mark of 113 by one seat.

With the two Independent MLAs withdrawing support, the ruling coalition now enjoys the backing of 118 MLAs in the 224-member house, where the BJP's strength is 104.

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