Karnataka: Election Commission to defer bypolls in 15 seats

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Published: September 26, 2019 6:51:32 PM

The by-elections in the state have been necessitated after 17 JD(S) and Congress MLAs were disqualified recently following their revolts against their parties.

election commission, ecDuring the hearing, senior lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi, who appeared for the council, responded by saying that he would ask EC to defer bypolls.

The Election Commission informed the Supreme Court on Thursday of its decision to postpone the upcoming by-elections in Karnataka. The by-elections in the state have been necessitated after 17 JD(S) and Congress MLAs were disqualified recently following their revolts against their parties, leading to the fall of the then HD Kumaswamy government.

The commission’s statement to the top court came after a bench led by justice NV Ramana said during the hearing that it would hear the plea filed by these former MLAs, who have challenged their disqualification from the state assembly by the then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

During the hearing, senior lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi, who appeared for the council, responded by saying that he would ask EC to defer bypolls. “Then I will ask the Election Commission to defer it (by-polls for 15 Assembly seats in Karnataka) for some time”, he was quoted as saying by PTI. When the advocate was asked whether his statement should be recorded in the order, Dwivedi replied in affirmative.

The lawyers who represented the disqualified MLAs and others responded replied saying that they did not have any problem if bypolls are deferred. The top court would hear the case next on October 22.

On Thursday, speaking to reporters, Kumaraswamy said as per ANI, “In Indian political history it’s the first time such a decision has been given by a constitutional authority. Anyone can judge EC is puppet of the government.”

In July this year, the then Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 11 Congress MLAs and 3 from JD(S) MLAs under the anti-defection law, ending their hopes of being included in the BJP government. Later, three more Congress MLAs were disqualified for anti-party activities on July 25.

The BJP formed the government under BS Yeddyurappa, who later expanded his cabinet that has three deputy chief ministers.

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