The Congress on Wednesday called for the dismissal of the Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka, saying the Supreme Court's decision upholding the decision disqualifying 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs but allowing them to contest the bypolls had exposed the BJP's 'Operation Kamal' in the state.
The court on Wednesday struck down the portion of the order of then-Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Assembly and said they can become ministers or hold public office if elected in the December 5 bypolls.
"The Supreme Court's decision has exposed the BJP's 'Operation Kamal' in Karnataka... The Yeddyurappa government is an 'illegitimate' government in terms of law and constitution and should be dismissed immediately," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter. He also asked for an inquiry into the role of the BJP leadership. "Public opinion and democratic values demand that not should only the 'illegitimate' Yeddyurappa government be sacked, but the BJP's conspiracy to bring down an elected government on the basis of money power of the legislators investigated.
The 'Yeddiyurappa Tapes' need to be investigated. Where did all this black money come from? What was the role of BJP leadership?" he asked.
His colleague Abhishek Manu Singhvi echoed him and said the Yeddyurappa government has no moral right to continue in the office any more. "There is clearly an attempt by the BJP to destroy democratic values through a shameless display of money power... The Supreme Court decision vindicates the stand of the Speaker almost 95 per cent.
It shows that 'Operation Kamal' is happening every day and everywhere in the country," Singhvi told reporters. "It shows that a large number of Congress-JDS MLAs were lured by the BJP through the use of money power," he said. Demanding the resignation of the Karnataka chief minister, he said the BJP's "character" was now exposed. "Those who preach to us about corruption, moral and Gandhian values, they have to realise that they have to walk the talk," Singhvi said.
A H Vishwanath, one of the disqualified MLAs from the JD(S), said he was satisfied with the decision of the apex court. "I welcome the judgement of the Supreme Court which has now permitted all 17 MLAs to contest the elections," Vishwanath told reporters. The speaker had disqualified the 17 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition ahead of a trust vote in July. Then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy resigned after losing the trust vote, paving the way for the BJP-led government in the state under Yediyurappa.
Bypolls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAs are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.
(PTI copy the only headline changed)