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The fourteen Karnataka MLAs belonging to the Congress and the JD(S) who were disqualified for the term of the current assembly have approached the Supreme Court challenging the speaker’s decision.

They were disqualified after they decided to defy their party whips to attend the House on July 23 in the confidence motion which the coalition government lost. It was their decision to abstain that brought down the strength of the assembly to 208 and gave the BJP, which had 105 MLAs the numbers to claim power.

“As the remaining 11 Congress and 3 JD-S rebel legislators also defied their respective party’s whip by remaining absent from the Assembly on July 23 when the motion was to put vote, they have violated the anti-defection law,” the Speaker had told reporters as one of the reasons for disqualifying them under the 10th Schedule, read with the Article 191(2) of the Constitution.

The motion was defeated by voice vote and division of votes on the insistence of the then opposition BJP leader BS Yeddiyurappa.

The rebel MLAs said challenged their disqualification in the Supreme Court as their joint petitions had sought its directive for accepting forthwith their resignations re-submitted on July 11 before the Congress and the JD (S) issued a whip to them to attend the session on July 23 and long before former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy moved the confidence motion .

—India Legal Bureau

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