Karnataka assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more rebel MLAs under the anti-defection act till the end of the current term of the assembly in 2023.
The speaker’s ruling came a day ahead of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa moving the confidence motion in the assembly to prove his majority, after assuming office on Friday.
Of the lawmakers who faced the action, 11 are from the Congress and three from JDS.
“I have used my judicial conscience,” said Kumar, who had earlier disqualified three Congress rebel MLAs on Thursday and said he would make the pronouncement of his decision in the remaining cases in a “couple of days.“
The Congress and JDS, whose government collapsed on Tuesday last after a rebellion by a section of their MLAs, had petitioned the Speaker to disqualify their errant members.
However, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa expressed confidence about proving majority on Monday, July 29.
He also said that the finance bill prepared by the previous Congress-JD(S) government would be tabled by him in the assembly on Monday, without any changes.
“On Monday hundred per cent I will prove the majority,” Yeddyurappa told reporters here.
The finance bill (appropriation bill) needs to be passed “urgently”, as otherwise “we will not be able to draw funds even to pay salaries,” he said.
“So tomorrow after moving the confidence motion, we will first take up the finance bill.
I have not even changed a comma or full stop in it. I will be tabling the finance bill prepared by the (previous) Congress-JD(S) government,” he added.
Yeddurappa, who assumed the office of Chief Minister on Friday had announced that he would seek the trust vote on Monday.
The 17 disqualifications won’t impact Yeddyurappa’s chances tomorrow.
The effective strength of the 224-member assembly excluding the Speaker, who has a casting vote in case of a tie, is 207.
The magic figure required will be 104.
BJP, along with the support of one independent, has 106 members, Congress 66 (including nominated), JD(S) 34 and one BSP member, who has been expelled by the party for not voting for the Kumaraswamy government during the trust vote.
The 14-month-old Congress-JDS coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly in a climax to the three-week long intense power struggle.
(With PTI inputs)