There was no demand from Opposition seeking division of votes: Bopaiah

Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, who on Monday disqualified 11 BJP MLAs and five independents from the membership of the Legislative Assembly under the anti-defection law (10th Schedule of the Constitution), said his action was entirely constitutional.

He said independents joining a political party could be disqualified. According to the documents provided by the independents, they had joined a political party. “On the basis of documentary proof they are disqualified,” the Speaker said.

He also defended the passing of confidence motion by voice vote saying there was no demand from the Opposition for division of votes.

“Nobody demanded division of votes. Where was the question of division of votes,” he asked. “The motion was passed by voice vote as per rules of the House.”

He said there was “time limitation” as this motion was the only subject on the agenda of the House, which had to be completed on Monday itself.

To a question on disorder when the motion was moved, the Speaker said: “I appealed to Opposition members to take their seats.” But they continued to disrupt the proceedings and staged a dharna, he said.

The 16 MLAs were disqualified just prior to the session to seek a trust vote by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

The disqualified BJP members are: Gopalakrishna Belur (Sagar), Balachandra Jarkiholi (Arabhavi), Shivanagouda Naik (Devadurg), H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda (Chamaraja), Y. Sampangi (KGF), Anand Asnotikar (Karwar), Bagali Sarbhouma (Indi), G.N. Nanjundaswamy (Kollegal), Baramgouda A Kage (Kagwad), Bellubbi Sangappa Kalappa (Basavana Bagewadi) and M.V. Nagaraju (Nelamagala).

Petitions rejected

The petitions seeking disqualification of Minister for Excise M.P. Renukacharya and Narasimha Naik (Raju Gowda) of the BJP were rejected as they had expressed support to the government.

The Speaker also disqualified five independents. They are Shivaraj Tangadagi (Kanakagiri), D. Sudhakar (Hiriur), Goolihatti Shekher (Hosadurga), Venkataramanappa (Pavagada) and M.P. Narendraswamy. The independents and the former Ministers supported the BJP in forming the government in 2007 when the party fell short of a simple majority.