Within hours after the Supreme Court paved the way for the disqualified Congress and JD(S) legislators to contest the December 5 by-polls for 15 seats in Karnataka, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said they will be joining the BJP.
Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa: All 17 rebel MLAs (who were disqualified) to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/y3Dh0elPpR
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2019
The disqualified ‘rebel’ MLAs will now officially join the Bharatiya Janata Party and are likely to contest the upcoming by-polls from the BJP ticket, as claimed by the CM.
Following the Supreme Court verdict, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had hailed the top court’s decision to allow the 17 rebel legislators to contest by-polls.
“The SC decision was much awaited. Our earlier Speaker colluded with Siddaramaiah and hatched a conspiracy, against which the Supreme Court has taken a clear decision. We welcome the 17 MLAs being allowed to contest. All preparations have started. Starting tomorrow, we will go all out and 101% we will win all the seats,” Yediyurappa told reporters.
Speaking to reporters in the morning, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan had also confirmed that the ‘rebel’ MLAs will be joining the BJP on Thursday at 10.30 a.m in Bengaluru in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel.
Earlier in the day, in a partial victory to the ‘rebel’ MLAs, the Supreme Court had allowed them to contest in the upcoming Karnataka by-polls. However, the apex court had also upheld former Karnataka Speaker’s order to disqualify 17 ‘rebel’ Congress and JD(S) MLAs.
The Supreme Court has quashed the order of former Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, who had disqualified the MLAs from contesting elections until the term of the current assembly, till 2023. Fourteen rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JDS were disqualified under the anti-defection law by the Speaker in July.
The by-polls to 15 out of 17 Karnataka assembly seats, which became vacant following the disqualification of MLAs, are scheduled to be held on December 5. The by-polls will not be taking place at two out of the 17 vacant seats — Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Maski as separate election petitions challenging the results of the 2018 elections are pending in Karnataka High Court.