The Janata Dal (Secular), the Left parties and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have demanded the immediate resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, in view of “clear and severe indictment” of both of them in the case relating to the disqualification of 11 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and five independent MLAs of Karnataka.

The leaders of these parties meeting here at the residence of the former Prime Minister and JD (S) president, H.D. Deve Gowda, at the initiative of Mr. Gowda, however made it clear that they had no objection if the BJP wanted to continue with its government. But Mr. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Bopaiah should not continue in office any more after the court verdict. Let the party elect a new Chief Minister and the Speaker, they said.

The Left-JD(S)-RLD combine issued a joint statement in this regard and denounced Mr. Yeddyurappa and Mr. Bopaiah for continuing in the post even after severe indictment by the Supreme Court.

Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan, who participated in the meeting, told journalists: “We have no objection to the party electing a new Chief Minister and the Speaker. But these two gentlemen have no right to continue after the Supreme Court judgment. A clear indictment is there.”

Mr. Gowda also said the duo had no right to continue in office. “The quashing by the Supreme Court of the Karnataka Assembly Speaker's decision to disqualify 16 MLAs prior to the confidence vote and dismissal of the application filed by B.S. Yeddyurappa seeking their disqualification was a clear and severe indictment of both.”

Asked whether the leaders wanted dismissal of the BJP government in Karnataka and imposition of President's Rule, Mr. Bardhan referred to Mr. Deve Gowda's earlier statement where he had said that if the BJP had majority in the Assembly as claimed, let them elect a new Speaker and a new Chief Minister.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat, who too attended the meeting, added: “In some exceptional cases, we [Left parties] have supported the imposition of the President's rule.”

Disqualification ‘unconstitutional'

CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said: “The Court has termed the disqualification of the MLAs unconstitutional. Mr. Yeddyurappa hence has no right to continue in office.”

Reading out from the joint statement issued by the Left-JD (S)-RLD combine, Mr. Yechury said: “Both the Speaker and the Chief Minister have neither the moral nor the legal right to continue in office. They must quit forthwith.”