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Karnataka crisis: Rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs refuse to participate in trust vote on Thursday

File photo of BS Yeddyurappa, HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah. Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team Delhi Jul 17, 2019, 03.49 PM (IST)

15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs on Wednesday said that they will not participate in the trust vote which will be held in Karnataka Assembly on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said that the Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh cannot be forced to decide on the resignations of 15 rebel MLAs within a time frame.

The top court also said that the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the Assembly proceedings or the trust vote on Thursday.

The rebel MLAs welcomed top court's verdict. "We honour the Supreme Court`s verdict. We all are together. We stand by our decision. There is no question of going to the Assembly," a rebel MLA said on behalf of the dissidents.

Congress leader Shivakumar warned the Congress-JD(S) rebels of disqualification proceedings against them under the anti-defection law if they did not obey the whip and participate in the proceedings during the trust vote in the Assembly on Thursday.

Hitting out at BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka minister said: "This landmark judgement has given strength to democratic process. Some BJP friends are trying to misguide that whip is not valid but the party can issue a whip & take necessary action as per anti-defection law."

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa said the SC verdict was a moral victory for the rebel MLAs.

"Karnataka CM has lost his mandate, when there is no majority he must resign tomorrow. I welcome SC's decision, it's the victory of constitution and democracy, a moral victory for rebel MLAs. It's only an interim order, SC will decide powers of Speaker in future," he said.

15 rebel MLAs had approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to the speaker to accept their resignations at the earliest.

Karnataka government has been reduced to minority in the Assembly after 16 rebel legislators resigned and 2 Independents withdrew support to it.

(With inputs from agencies)