17 disqualified rebel MLAs will join BJP today: Karnataka deputy CM

Updated: Nov 14, 2019, 13:26 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

SC upholds their disqualification, but allows them to contest bypolls

Adagur H Vishwanath, one of the disqualified MLAs, speaks to reporters after Supreme Court announced its verdict on Wednesday. Pic/PTI
Adagur H Vishwanath, one of the disqualified MLAs, speaks to reporters after Supreme Court announced its verdict on Wednesday. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: Merely hours after the Supreme Court allowed the 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs to contest the by-polls, state Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan on Wednesday said they will join the BJP on Thursday. "They all will join the BJP on November 14 in the presence of chief minister BS Yediyurappa and state party president Nalin Kumar Kateel," Narayan said.

When asked whether the disqualified MLAs will contest the upcoming bypolls in Karnataka, Narayan said, "Let them join the party first." Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of the 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs whose rebellion led to the fall of the Kumaraswamy government and the return of the BJP to power in July, but allowed them to contest the upcoming bypolls to 15 assembly seats.

The SC also said if elected in the bypolls, the MLAs can become ministers or hold public office. Observing that constitutional morality should never be replaced by political morality, a three-judge SC bench held that the Speaker, in exercise of his powers under the Constitution, "does not have the power to either indicate the period for which a person is disqualified, or to bar someone contesting elections".

The SC decision has upset the JD(S). Party leader H D Kumaraswamy said "some political leaders are misusing our constitutional institutions for their personal gains." Agencies

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