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16 disqualified K'taka MLAs to join BJP today, Roshan Baig's name 'missing' on list

Posted November 14th, 2019, 09:46 AM IST

16 disqualified K'taka MLAs to join BJP today, Roshan Baig's name 'missing' on list

Sixteen of the 17 Karnataka rebel MLAs -- whose disqualification was upheld by the Supreme Court on Wednesday -- will formally join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bengaluru on Thursday.

While the BJP's official press statement mentioned the induction of 16 of the 17 disqualified MLAs into the party, Roshan Baig's name is conspicuous by its absence.

Asked about his name missing from the list, sources close to Baig brushed it away as inconsequential. "He has spoken to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. Both him and his son (Ruman Baig) are joining."

Baig, however, claimed it was a "mistake in typing".

The Supreme Court, which was hearing the plea filed by the 17 MLAs against their disqualification, on Wednesday upheld the Speaker's decision but allowed them to content in the upcoming bypolls to 15 seats. If they contest and win, the MLAs will be able to hold ministries.

Deputy Chief Minister Ashwath Narayan earlier told reporters that the disqualified MLAs would be inducted at 10:30 am at the BJP headquarters in the state capital in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and party state chief Nalin Kumar Kateel.

In July this year, these 17 MLAs, including Baig, were disqualified by then Speaker KR Ramesh for rebelling against then Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and missing the trust vote. In their absence, the Congress-JD(S) government failed to prove the majority in the assembly and subsequently their disqualification brought the assembly numbers down, allowing the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP to comfortably stake a claim at power with just 105 seats and support from an independent.

But their fate will be decided by the BJP after they join the party. The BJP earlier said that it has not decided on the ticket distribution yet. Nominations would be filed till November 18. Voting would take place on December 5 and counting will take place on December 9.