Disqualified Karnataka MLAs Will Join BJP On Thursday, Says Deputy CM
Hours after the Supreme Court on Wednesday paved the way for the 17 disqualified Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) legislators to contest the Dec. 5 bypolls for 15 seats in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan CN said they will be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party on Nov. 14.
"They (disqualified legislators) have expressed interest to join BJP and have met our senior leaders. They have been welcomed to join the party," he said.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, he said, they will be joining the party tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Bengaluru in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and BJP state President Nalin Kumar Kateel.
Some disqualified MLAs along with Ashwathnarayan met BL Santosh, BJP National General Secretary (Organisation), in New Delhi hours after the verdict.
Ashwathnarayan said party leaders and the disqualified legislators will meet Chief Minister and state president on Thursday and decide on the future course of action.
"There is no trouble or anything, they want to join the party and will be joining...bypolls and other things will come later," he said.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs by the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar but allowed them to contest the Dec. 5 bypolls in the state.
The court struck down the portion of the order of then Speaker by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Assembly in 2023.
Asked if they have been promised ticket for bypolls, Ashwathnarayan said they are joining with joy and full faith.
"They, our friends have no doubt. They are joining the party keeping good faith, when they don't have doubts, why you (media) have," he added.