Union Labour and Employment Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday hinted that the Union Government was considering amending the anti-defection law to prevent its misuse and use the existing provisions to browbeat legislators.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Kharge said Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily had spoken on the need for amendment to the anti-defection law considering the way it was used in the State by the Bharatiya Janata Party Government to retain power and its efforts to muster majority through negative support of the Opposition MLAs making them resign.
He said that to prevent mockery of democracy and misuse of the provisions in the law, the Law Department was considering various options. “I will discuss the issue with Mr. Moily on my return to New Delhi.”
Mr. Kharge said the Union Government was closely watching the developments in Karnataka and was getting reports from different agencies on the everyday developments.
Asked how long the Centre would wait before decisively acting, Mr Kharge quipped: “No government will tolerate beyond a certain limit,” and refused elaborate.
Referring to the charge of the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda that the Congress was going soft on the BJP Government after arriving at a “tacit” understanding at the national level, Mr. Kharge said that it was not new for Mr. Gowda to make such allegations.
On the allegations of the former Minister Malikaya Guttedar, representing Afzalpur Assembly Constituency in Gulbarga district, that he was forced to think about leaving the Congress because of the negligence and contemptuous attitude of Mr. Kharge and the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, the Union Minister said that he would comment on the allegation after the High Court pronounced its order on the petition filed by the disqualified MLAs.
“Mr. Guttedar has a right to speak and I cannot prevent him from speaking… people are aware of the facts,” he added.