The KJP will remain in existence as a political party and will have representation in the State Assembly even after B S Yeddyurappa’s group of four legislators join the BJP. Two other KJP MLAs, B R Patil and Guru Patil, will continue to be its members.
Constitutional experts point out that the merger of the Yeddyurappa group with the BJP will not attract the provisions of the Anti-Defection Law as two-thirds of the elected members (four in this case) have resolved for merger. This provision is provided under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (Provisions as to disqualification on grounds of defection).
The same schedule also provides that while the majority group can merge with another party without attracting provision of Anti-Defection Law, the minority group can retain its original identity.
“If all the KJP members do not join the BJP, the remaining members will retain their identity as KJP legislators in the Assembly,” Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa said when contacted by Deccan Herald.
Thimmappa said, technically there were no hurdles in the merger of Yeddyurappa group with the BJP as both the parties had mutually accepted the same and added that he will complete the formalities in a week’s time.
Both the Yeddyurappa group and the BJP have submitted letters to the Speaker on the merger issue. The Speaker said he had sought more information from both the parties. “I have sought to know whether the two KJP MLAs who have not signed the merger resolution were present during the KJP legislature party meeting,” he said. Thimmappa said, Yeddyurappa and the three legislators will be identified as BJP MLAs following his letter of approval of merger. B R Patil said he is yet to take a decision whether to join the BJP. “I will consult the voters in my constituency before taking a decision,” he said. Guru Patil was not available for comments.