People of Karnataka will give BJP a befitting reply: Congress

The Congress on Thursday accused the BJP of being "opportunistic and power-hungry" and said people of Karnataka will "give a befitting reply" to its decision to give tickets for December 5 by-elections to former Congress and JD-S MLAs who were disqualified by former Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

In a statement, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal alleged that BJP "orchestrated" the political horse-trading in Karnataka.

"This allegation has been proved by the fact that BJP has offered tickets to disqualified MLAs hours after the Supreme Court judgment. By doing so, BJP has publicly encouraged defection, horse-trading above all public immorality. It has lost the moral right to speak about public morality," Venugopal said.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday upheld the decision of the former KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs under the anti-defection law but said that they can contest the upcoming by-elections in the state.

The rebel legislators were disqualified in July this year under the anti-defection law after they tendered their resignation. They were also barred from contesting polls for the duration of the current assembly, which is slated to end in 2023.

The move led to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, paving way for BJP to stake claim to form a new government in the state. The disgruntled MLAs then moved the apex court challenging their disqualification.

They sought quashing of the order passed by the Speaker and ban imposed on them against contesting elections.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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