Question mark over whether nominations of disqualified MLAs will be accepted: CEO

BENGALURU: The disqualified MLAs can file their nominations for next month’s by-elections but whether their papers will be accepted or not is a question, Karnataka
Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said on Tuesday.

“Who will stop anyone from filing nominations? No one can stop anyone from filing nominations. Whether it will be accepted or not is a question,” Kumar told reporters.

When asked about Election Commission’s submission to the court that Speaker’s order disqualifying these MLAs cannot deprive them of their right to contest by-polls, Kumar said
the submission was before the Supreme Court.

“The submission was before the Supreme Court. We toolearnt about it through the newspapers. Let us not discuss when things are subjudice. Let us wait,” Kumar said.

He explained further that the scrutiny officer will take into account all the aspects while scrutinising the nominations.

“Scrutiny officer knows what are the disqualifications. Those are given in the Representation of People’s Act. So it is not appropriate for us comment on it,” Kumar said.

The then speaker K R Ramesh Kumar had disqualified the 17 MLAs — 13 belonging to the Congress and three JDS and one independent—which eventually led to the fall of the
Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in July.

Kumaraswamy resigned as the Chief Minister after losing the trust vote, paving the way for the installation of the BJP government with B S Yediyurappa as the Chief Minister.

The disqualified lawmakers have approached the apex court, challenging Kumar’s decision to disqualify them. They have contended in their pleas that the decision taken by Kumar before resigning as the speaker was an entirely illegal, arbitrary and mala fide exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

They have also questioned Kumar’s decision to reject their resignations by holding that those were not voluntary and genuine.

The Election Commission on Saturday announced that by-elections to constituencies represented by 15 out of 17 disqualified former Congress-JD(S) legislators will be held
on October 21 and results will be declared on October 24. (agencies)

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