The Congress on Wednesday called for the dismissal of the Yeddiyurappa government in Karnataka, saying the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the decision of disqualifying 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs by former Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar but allowing them to contest the bypolls had exposed the BJP’s ‘Operation Kamal’ in the state.

The apex court struck down Speaker’s decision to disqualify them till the end of the term of the Legislative Assembly and said they can become ministers or hold public office if elected in the December 5 bypolls.

The bypolls are going to be held on December 5.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala took toTwitter and said that the Supreme Court’s decision has exposed the BJP’s “Operation Kamal” in Karnataka.

In a series of tweets Surjewala said, “The Supreme Court’s decision has exposed the BJP’s ‘Operation Kamal’ in Karnataka. This is now clear that the BJP forcefully pulled down the elected government of the JD (S) and Congress. The Yeddiyurappa government is an ‘illegitimate’ government in terms of law and constitution and should be dismissed immediately.”

In another tweet he also asked for an inquiry into the role of the BJP leadership.

He said, “Public opinion and democratic values demand that not should only the ‘illegitimate’ Yeddiyurappa government be sacked, but the BJP’s conspiracy to bring down an elected government on the basis of money power of the legislators investigated. The ‘Yeddiyurappa Tapes’ need to be investigated. Where did all this black money come from? What was the role of BJP leadership?”

Another Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi reverberated Surjewala and said the Yeddiyurappa government has no moral right to continue in office any more.

“There is clearly an attempt by the BJP to destroy democratic values through shameless display of money power… The Supreme Court decision vindicates the stand of the Speaker almost 95 per cent. It shows that ‘Operation Kamal’ is happening everyday and everywhere in the country,” Singhvi told reporters.

He further said, “It shows that a large number of Congress-JDS MLAs were lured by the BJP through the use of money power,” he said.

While reiterating party’s demand for the resignation of the Karnataka Chief Minister, he said the BJP’s “character” was now exposed.

“Those who preach to us about corruption, moral and Gandhian values, they have to realise that they have to walk the talk,” Singhvi said.

The Supreme Court opined that there is no doubt that disqualification takes place when there is defection.

Justice NV Ramana also observed in his verdict on the growing trend of Speakers acting against the constitutional mandate, saying, “Citizens are denied stable governments.”

The disqualified MLAs had argued in the court that they had an “indefeasible right” to resign as members of the assembly and criticised the speaker’s decision to disqualify them.

In an interim order in July, the Supreme Court had said that Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar was free to decide on resignations of the rebel MLAs. 15 rebel legislators, including 12 from the Congress and 3 JD(S) had resigned from the house, and two Independents withdrew support leading to the fall of the 14-month coalition government in Karnataka.

Then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing a trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in Karnataka under BS Yediyurappa.

Karnataka Assembly bypolls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats are scheduled on December 5. These seats fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAs. Candidates can file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.

(With inputs from PTI)