We don’t want Roshan Baig in BJP, says KS Eshwarappa

Bengaluru: Karnataka Cabinet Minister KS Eshwarappa on Thursday declined to provide any reason for not taking Roshan Baig in the Bharatiya Janata Party on the day when 15 out of 17 disqualified rebel MLAs, including those from Congress and JD(S) joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa here.

“We don’t want Roshan Baig at any cost, I don’t want to tell any reason,” he told reporters when he was asked why Roshan Baig is not joining the BJP.

Baig did not attend the BJP joining program held at the party office here. According to sources, he was not allowed to take membership of BJP due to the IMA Ponzi scam and allegations against him in RSS worker Rudresh’s murder case.

BJP Karnataka unit chief Naleen Kumar Kateel said that JDS will lose its existence after bypolls.

Out of the 17 disqualified MLAs, MTB Nagaraj is already a member of the BJP, while Roshan Baig has been left out.

The top court has allowed 17 disqualified rebel MLAs to contest in the upcoming bypolls which are slated to be held on December 5.

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 by the then speaker K R Ramesh Kumar in July earlier this year under the anti-defection law after they tendered their resignation. 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 prohibition imposed on them to contest elections. The matter was reserved by the court on October 25.

The elections for 15 out of 17 seats are slated to be held on December 5.