New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) After the Supreme Court on Thursday postponed the bypolls for the 15 assembly seats in Karnataka that was announced by the Election Commission on Saturday, Congress dubbed the move as “unprecedented”.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “There were rampant defections in Karnataka mocking at the Constitution and also the anti-defection law enshrined in the Constitution where an elected government with full majority was unseated by a group of defectors, who were rightfully in accordance with the jurisdiction of the Speaker under the Constitution were disqualified.”
He said until today the Supreme Court has not stayed the order of the Speaker that means the order must be correct.
Surjewala was responding to a question after the Supreme Court agreed to the demands of the Election Commission to postpone bypolls for Karanataka Assembly seats.
The Supreme Court deferred the matter related to disqualification of 15 rebel MLAs for October 22.
In a blow to the rebel MLAs, the poll panel on Saturday announced the dates for bypolls in 15 assembly seats in the southern state on October 21.
The by-elections for 15 seats was neccessiated after 15 rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress and the JD-S government switched their loyalty to the saffron party.
The 14-month-old Congress-JD-S government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy collapased after the 15 MLAs resigned as legislators in late July this year.
Significantly, the announcement of the schedule of the by-elections means that the disqualified MLAs will not be able to contest.
In a dramatic turn of events, former Karnataka Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar disqualified as many as 17 rebel MLAs till the end of the current Assembly term running from 2018 to 2023, a day before the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly.
“After all the orders disqualifying the defectors who are lured by money and power.. muscle power was wrong.A And the Supreme Court will be right in stating it. Once the order stands these legislators stand disqualified and the process of re-election has to come in place. To defer an ongoing election process is itself unprecedented,” Surjewala said.
The Congress leader said that for the law laid down by Supreme Court in last 70 years that they will not interfere with the process of election. “Now the Supreme Court itself is interfering in elections as notified by the Election Commission. To me it’s constitutionally strange. The Supreme Court is right as they are final and there is no appeal beyond that,” he said.
To another question over National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval asking the security forces to intensify anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir and work towards improving the life of common people, he said, “Doval or the BJP government has not briefed Congress about the steps they are taking in Kashmir, but as you have pointed out we welcome any steps taken by the government against terrorists and militants.”
The BJP government had revoked Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and had put the state under massive clampdown to control the law and order situation.
Earlier in the day, Doval has returned from Kashmir after he went there on Wednesday and held series of meetings with security official and bureaucrats.
It was his second visit to the stage after the revocation of Article 370.