Fourteen rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JDS were disqualified in July. (File)
New Delhi/Bengaluru: A decision on 17 Karnataka MLAs whose revolt triggered the collapse of the Janata Dal Secular-Congress government and the takeover by the BS Yediyurappa-led BJP is expected in the Supreme Court today. The court will decide whether the then Speaker’s decision to disqualify the rebels and bar them from contesting elections during the term of the current Karnataka assembly should stand. The judgment could have a bearing on the BJP government and also the December by-polls to 15 of 17 vacant seats in the assembly.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:
- Fourteen rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JDS were disqualified under the anti-defection law by the Speaker in July.
- The Speaker also said the MLAs cannot contest elections until the term of the current assembly ends in 2023.
- The court may decide whether members disqualified under the anti-defection law can be barred from contesting polls.
- The MLAs had questioned whether after resigning, they could be disqualified at all, given that the Supreme Court had said they cannot be forced to attend the assembly.
- As the 17 MLAs quit and refused to return to the assembly, the JDS-Congress coalition fell during a trust vote on July 23, after which the BJP staked claim to power.
- The MLAs petitioned the Supreme Court asking for their disqualification to be cancelled. The JDS and Congress also went to the court saying the disqualifications must be enforced.
- By-polls to 15 of the seats left vacant by the disqualifications will be held on December 5.
- The BJP has the support of 106 MLAs in the 224-member assembly. The opposition JDS-Congress has 101.
- If the MLAs’ disqualification is reversed, they can contest the by-polls as BJP candidates. The BJP has to win at least six of the 15 seats to retain its majority.
- Chief Minister Yediyurappa has spoken in support of the rebels and is expected to accommodate them in his government as ministers.
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