The Congress and HD Kumaraswamy, whose government in Karnataka crashed in the test of strength in the state assembly on Tuesday, have promised strong action against the rebels who brought it down. All 16 rebels - 13 from the Congress and 3 from Mr Kumaraswamy's Janata Dal Secular who resigned earlier this month, pushing the government into minority -- will be disqualified, the leaders have said.
In the trust vote in the state assembly on Tuesday, the coalition could scrape up only 99 votes. The BJP touched the majority mark with 105 votes and will form the next government under BS Yeddyurappa.
In the 225-member assembly, 20 were not present for the floor test.
As Mr Kumaraswamy made it clear on the floor of the house that the "betrayal will not be entertained", Congress's Siddaramaiah tweeted, "I would like to reaffirm that those who have fallen for Operation Kamala will never be inducted back to our party".
"15-16 of our MLAs violated the whip by abstaining from the House during trust vote, thereby, it is a clear violation of Schedule 10 (of the Constitution) and attracts disqualification," Siddaramaiah told news agency ANI.
The rebels, who stationed themselves at a Mumbai hotel after handing their resignation to the Governor, said they would not attend the assembly under any circumstances. Despite a whip by Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar yesterday, none turned up for the floor test.
Mr Kumaraswamy and the Congress had also approached the Supreme Court, accusing the Governor of interfering with the Assembly proceedings when the debate on the trust vote was underway and sought clarification on its July 17 order causing hindrance in issuing whip to the legislators. The court had held that the legislators cannot be compelled to participate in the Assembly proceedings.
The rebel legislators have sought four weeks' time to appear before the Speaker over a plea for their disqualification from the assembly.
"You are aware that the Disqualification Rule, 1986, requires a minimum of 7 days period. In spite of the same, the proceedings are being hurried up. In these circumstances, I request you to grant four weeks' time to appear," the letter read, according to news agency ANI.
Earlier today, Mr Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of attempting to topple the coalition government through bribery and "wholesale trade" of rebel MLAs. Speaking during the debate, he said, "This wholesale trade is a problem. If there is retail trade of one or two members then it''s not a problem... Rs 25 crore, 30 crore, 50 crore were offered, where is this money coming from?"
"The sabotage of a duly elected government in Karnataka carried out by the BJP is one of the most heinous and subversive instances of blatant political horse tradings the country has ever witnessed," read a statement by AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal late this evening.
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