New Delhi: Hitting out at Amit Shah for pitching Hindi as a common language, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily on Wednesday said the Home Minister’s statement was against India’s federal structure and that he should withdraw his remarks for the unity of the country.Shah, the BJP president, had on Saturday pitched for a common language for the country, saying it is Hindi which is spoken the most and that it can unite the whole country. “The recent statements of Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Union Home Minister, like ‘one nation, one language’, ‘one nation, one election’ are against the federal structure and democracy of India,” the former Karnataka chief minister said in a statement. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’It is also opposed to the principle enunciated in the Constitution, Moily said. “How a Home Minister of a country like India could create this kind of apprehension in the minds of the people is really anti-federal. It is most appropriate for the unity of the country that Amit Shah withdraws such statements,” the former Union law minister said. “Shah has also further said that multi-party democracy has failed in this country. He forgets that multi-party democracy has in fact kept the unity and integrity of this country intact …,” the Congress leader said.
New Delhi: The Election Commission told the Supreme Court on Monday that former Karnataka Speaker’s order disqualifying 17 MLAs from the Assembly cannot deprive them of their right to contest the upcoming by-polls for 15 constituencies in the state.The EC sought from the apex court, which agreed to examine the pleas of the MLAs seeking stay on disqualification and for contesting the by-elections, that the by-polls should not be stayed. A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said it would hear the pleas on September 25. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh”I have no say on the issue of disqualification. The gist of the matter is that the Speaker has disqualified them and vacancy is there. The election should not be stayed,” EC’s counsel told the bench. “The Speaker’s order cannot deprive them of the right to contest the elections,” the EC said. The top court issued notices to the speaker of Karnataka Assembly, Karnataka Congress and JD (S) leaders and the state government on the petitions. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that either the by-polls, for which nominations can be filed till September 30, should be stayed or these politicians should be allow to contest the by-elections. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadSenior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the other party, questioned the EC stand saying it was surprising. “Why the Election Commission has come and said so, we are surprised,” Sibal said. Rohatgi said that order of the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualifying these 17 MLAs should be stayed as he had said that the resignations tendered by them might be voluntary, but “motivated”. He said Kumar had given only three days to these MLAs to respond to the disqualification notices which was completely illegal as according to the Karnataka Assembly rules a minimum of 7-day notice period has to be given for disqualification. “If someone does not wish to be an MLA, nobody can force him unless there is a gun on his head,” Rohatgi said, adding that they have been disqualified for the remaining tenure of the current Assembly which would end in 2023. “We should be entitled to contest the election (by-polls),” he said, adding that the then Speaker had said in his order that these disqualified MLAs cannot even contest the by-polls during the tenure of this Assembly till 2023. “The seven day period to file reply to the notice cannot be curtailed and the Speaker had given us only three days to respond. This is completely illegal what the Speaker has done in this case,” he said. While countering Rohatgi’s submissions, Sibal said that facts referred to him are contrary to the records. “I have to respond on this,” Sibal told the bench, adding that no interim orders should be passed at this stage. To this, the bench said, “We are willing to hear this”. The bench, while posting the matter for hearing on September 25, asked Rohatgi and Sibal to confine their arguments on the point of interim relief sought by these disqualified MLAs. The then Speaker had disqualified these MLAs which eventually led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. Kumaraswamy resigned as the chief minister after losing a trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the southern state under Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. The disqualified lawmakers have approached the apex court, challenging Kumar’s decision to disqualify them. Some of them have contended in their pleas that the decision taken by Kumar before resigning as the Speaker was an entirely illegal, arbitrary and mala fide exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. They have also questioned Kumar’s decision to reject their resignations by holding that those were not voluntary and genuine.