Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership in Delhi have decided to give BJP tickets to the disqualified Congress-JDS MLAs, subject to the Supreme Court striking down the Speaker’s decision to disqualify them on anti-party activities.
The controversy surrounding the plight of the disqualified MLAs whether they will be given a ticket by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to end with a decision in their favour. However, many senior BJP leaders remain averse to the disqualified MLAs contesting in the bypolls.
Speaking to reporters in Shikaripura town of Shivamogga district, BS Yediyurappa said that the disqualified Congress-JDS MLAs would be given BJP tickets for the bypolls if they wanted.
BS Yediyurappa said, “By-elections are coming up and dates have been announced for 15 seats. Amit Shah has said that those who have resigned and want to contest from the BJP, all of them will be given seats (tickets), it is our responsibility.”
BS Yediyurappa also went out of his way to make sure that BJP leaders in those constituencies do not sulk or turn rebel and said that an “opportunity” will be created for them in state-run boards and corporations.
The situation seems to be in deep water with senior MLA Umesh Katti saying that the disqualified MLAs will have to fight their own way. However, BS Yediyurappa claimed that all is well and he has spoken to Katti about the issue.
It was the disqualified MLAs who helped BS Yediyurappa form the government in Karnataka after the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the month of July.
BS Yediyurappa made it a point to stress on this by saying, “Those who helped us to form the government, we are with them.”
The Congress, on the other hand, is confident of doing well in the upcoming bypolls. Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said, “We will win more seats in the bypolls and the present BJP government will collapse.”
The bypolls were initially to be held on October 21 but were deferred to a later date. The Election Commission then decided to hold the bypolls on December 5 even as the Supreme Court is hearing their pleas on the disqualification matter.
The BJP will now have to win a minimum of six seats to stay in power.
Out of the 15 seats going to the polls, the Congress represented 12 and the JD(S) had 3.
As of today, the BJP has 104 MLAs and has the support of one independent. The Congress has 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAs in the assembly.
Moreover, there is one MLA from the BSP, one nominated member and a Speaker in the assembly with a strength of 225.