BJP seeks disqualification of six Congress and 2 JDS MLCs

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Bengaluru, Sep 1 (PTI): BJP’s Karnataka unit on Friday petitioned the Governor to direct appropriate authorities to disqualify eight MLCs — six from the Congress and two from the JDS — for allegedly providing false information that they were residents of the city, so as to participate in the

Mayoral polls. The party also requested Vajubhai Vala to initiate action against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for “his role and support to the MLCs to commit the offences.”

The BJP’s action came just before Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was to expand the cabinet with one of the eight MLCs, Ramappa Thimmapur tipped to take oath as the minister. The eight MLCs have been accused by the BJP of violating Section 31 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 by providing false information to the Election Commission with an ulterior motive. “They falsely claimed to be the residents of Bengaluru and fraudulently got their names registered as voters in various parts of the city,” the BJP said in the petition.

It has accused them of drawing TA/DA by fraudulent means from the Karnataka Legislative Council by showing addresses in other districts as their ordinary residency. It has also accused them of indulging in foul play by wrongly participating in the elections to the post of Mayor and various standing committees of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city corporation. On the basis of the complaint lodged by Padmanabha Reddy, Leader of the Opposition in BBMP, the Election Commission in July had asked BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad to probe the matter. The petition said in his report submitted to the Chief  Electoral Officer, the Commissioner, BBMP, has stated that “due procedure has not been followed” for inclusion of names of all these eight MLCs in the electoral list. “We are of the view that this is a clear case for initiating action in the form of disqualifying them from the Membership of the Legislative Council,” BJP said. The eight MLCs are Allum Veeranbhadrappa, Ramappa Thimmapur, Raghu Achar, N S Boseraju, S Ravi, M D Lakshminarayana, C R Manohar and Appaji Gowda. Karnataka Legislative Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy, who had earlier served notice to eight MLCs, has said he will soon decide on the issue. Speaking to reporters after meeting the governor, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar called it a “criminal offence”. “Their conduct being in a responsible position of public representatives is a criminal offence, so they have to be disqualified as members of the legislative council. So we have requested the governor to direct the appropriate authorities to disqualify the eight MLCs,” he said. Pointing out at the possibility of Thimmapur being inducted into the cabinet, Shettar demanded that he should not be inducted as he has violated the Representation of the People Act under which he can be penalised and jailed for one year.

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