The Congress on Monday asked Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar to disqualify its four rebel legislators for absenting themselves from the house in the ongoing Budget session in defiance of the party whip.
“(Deputy Chief Minister) G. Parameshwara, (state Congress president) Dinesh Gundu Rao & I have petitioned the Hon’ble Speaker, to disqualify MLAs Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumathalli, B. Nagendra and Umesh Jadhav under the rules of the anti-defection law due to continued absence in spite of repeated notices & issuing of whip,” Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah said in a tweet.
The four legislators were issued notice by Siddaramaiah for skipping the legislators’ meet held here on January 18 and for being absent since the Budget session began February 6.
Though the four rebels had responded to Siddaramaiah’s notice, the former chief minister earlier said the unanimous opinion of the CLP was for legal action against them under the anti-defection law, as sufficient opportunity had been given to them to fall in line.
“All the four legislators have written to me informing their inability to attend the ongoing (Budget) session till February 15. Jharkiholi replied that he had a wedding to attend, Kumathalli said he was unwell, Jadhav explained he was preoccupied and Nagendra said that he was held up with personal work,” Siddaramaiah had said.
In the 225-member Assembly, which included one nominated Anglo-Indian member, the Congress has 80, including the Speaker, the Janata Dal-Secular 37, and the Bharatiya Janata Party 104. The remaining three comprise one each from the Bahujan Samaj Party and regional outfit KPJP and an Independent.