New Delhi, Nov 13 : BJP President Amit Shah held a closed door meeting in the national capital soon after the Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLA but allowed them to contest elections.
The meeting by Shah was also attended by BJP leaders hailing from Karnataka. The agenda of the meeting was to decide on how many of the rebels should get BJP tickets and who shall be excluded, if at all and how it can be ensured that their disaffection due to exclusion doesn't harm the BJP-led Karnataka government in the state.
The BJP is facing a peculiar situation in Karnataka where many of its own workers and ticket hopefuls are apprehensive of being shunned in move to 'reward' the rebel MLAs. Their are already growing murmurs of discontent among the state cadre who feel BJP may sacrifice their political ambitions for 'outsider' rebels.
Prominent BJP leader P. Murlidhar Rao, who is also the National General secretary of BJP said in a statement, "The Honourable Supreme Court's decision to allow the disqualified MLAs of Karnataka to contest the bypoll is a welcome step. It is not about politics, it is about constitutional rights which we all have to welcome." Sources say, this meeting will be followed by a meeting between Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Shah, with the time and venue not yet decided.
Fourteen rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JD-S were disqualified under the anti-defection law by the Speaker in July that led to toppling of the Congress-JD-S government in the state and brought in a BJP government led by Yediyurappa.
The bypolls in Karnataka Assembly seats which became vacant following the disqualification of the MLAs are scheduled to be held on December 5.
If the ruling BJP which currently has 106 MLAs, manages to win 6 of the 15 seats, it will cross the halfway mark and secure a majority.