The Congress in Karnataka on Monday said it would request the Supreme Court that has agreed to hear the pleas of 17 disqualified MLAs, to uphold the then Speakers decision to disqualify them.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice N V Ramana, has said it would hear on September 25 petitions in which the disqualified MLAs have sought interim relief to contest the by-elections.
"As we have a put a caveat in this case, we are told that we will be issued notice. Our lawyers will put forward their argument on Thursday in the Supreme Court.
Our lawyers will request the court to uphold the decision of the Speaker and those who have violated the anti-defection law should be punished," KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.
"Ramesh Kumar, the then Speaker has upheld the basic purpose of anti-defection law....," he told reporters here.
In response to a question about the statement of the Election Commissions counsel in court that Speakers order cannot deprive the MLAs from contesting the polls, Rao said the EC has nothing to do with the disqualification issue.
Meanwhile, the Congress has begun preparations for the bypolls, by holding a meeting of senior leaders and observers on Monday.
Rao, congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah, senior party leaders G Parameshwara and Ramalinga Reddy, among others, were present.
During the meeting, leaders held preliminary discussions about selection of candidates, party sources said, adding that they will shortlist candidates in a couple of days, which will be sent to the party high command in New Delhi for approval.
The Election Commission had recently announced that by-elections to constituencies represented by 15 out of 17 disqualified former Congress-JD(S) legislators will be held on October 21 and results declared on October 24.
Elections have not been announced for Maski and Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituencies, citing election petitions relating to 2018 assembly polls for these two segments that have been admitted in the High Court as reason.
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