New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court on 17 disqualified MLAs of Karnataka and said the judgment has exposed the ‘Operation Kamal’ of the BJP for using nefarious means to bring down an elected government in the state.

“Supreme Court judgment today upholding disqualification of defecting MLAs by Speaker has exposed ‘Operation Kamal’ that was undertaken by BJP and its president to poach MLAs using nefarious means to bring down an elected government and installing BS Yediyurappa as CM,” Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.

He also went on to say that the apex court verdict clearly established beyond doubt that a democratically elected government was felled by using massive inducements, threats and allurements in disregard of every basic tenets of public prosperity.

“Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP means – Fugitive Connection Party! Today’s decision of the Supreme Court on Karnataka has opened the ‘Dhol Ki Pol’ of ‘Operation Kamal’!,” he further added.

Calling the current BS Yeddyurappa government ‘illegitimate’ in terms of law and constitution, the Congress leader called for the cancellation of the government in the state.

“It is a demand of public and democratic values that not only the illegitimate Yedurappa government should be sacked, but by buying and selling on the basis of money power, the elected JDS- BJP conspiracy to topple Congress government should be investigated,” he said.

The statement from the Congress comes as the Supreme Court earlier in the day upheld the decision of the then Karnataka speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs and said that they can contest the upcoming by-elections in the state. “We are upholding the order of the Speaker,” Justice Ramana said.

The top court said that resignation does not take away the power of disqualification by the speaker. “Since we are deciding disqualification, resignation is not needed to be gone into. As such there is no doubt that disqualification has nothing to do with resignation,” the court said.