BJP on Thursday released the first list of candidates for the upcoming December 5 Karnataka by-polls figuring the names of 13 MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) camp who were disqualified earlier this year.
The names were declared a day after the Supreme Court upheld their disqualification but said they can fight elections. Fifteen out of 17 Congress-JD(U) rebel MLAs joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
The BJP candidate list includes Mahesh Kumatalli who has been fielded from Athani constituency, MTB Nagaraj from Hosakote, BC Patil from Hirekerur, H Vishwanath from Hunsur, K Sudhakar from Chikkaballapur, Shivaram Hebbar from Yellapur and Anand Singh from Vijayanagara.
Out of the 17 disqualified MLAs, MTB Nagaraj is already a member of the BJP, Roshan Baig did not join the BJP.
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday upheld the decision of the then Karnataka speaker K R 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 resignations. 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.