But the process is time-consuming. It was pointed out that in the 13th Andhra Pradesh Assembly as many as 31 MLAs faced disqualification on the same grounds.
YSR Congress MP from Nandyal S.P.Y. Reddy, who joined the TDP on Sunday, is sure to face disqualification under the anti-defection law, but the process may be delayed.
According to official sources, the argument that Mr. Reddy does not attract the provisions of the anti-defection law is incorrect. “Question whether a party is recognised or not does not arise at all. As the party is registered with the Election Commission of India, its member falls under the purview of anti-defection law,” sources said.
It was pointed out that in the 13th Andhra Pradesh Assembly as many as 31 MLAs faced disqualification on the same grounds. “All of them had switched their loyalties from the parties they were elected and joined other political parties,” sources said.
After the 2004 elections also, as many as 11 TRS MLAs were disqualified after they defied the party whip in the Council elections. “At that time TRS was merely a registered party with the Election Commission. That did not bar the Speaker to initiate disqualification proceedings,” sources recalled.
The 10th Schedule of Constitution of India provides that a member of Parliament or Legislature can be disqualified if he/she voluntarily gives up the membership of the party that gave him the ticket to contest the election.
In Mr. Reddy’s case, the YSR Congress Parliamentary Party leader will have to petition the Lok Sabha Speaker bringing to his notice the defection of its member to other party. As the Lok Sabha is yet to be constituted, it may take some time for the disciplinary action to be initiated.
Even after the Lok Sabha is constituted, the Speaker will issue a notice to the member seeking his reply on the petition. The disqualification proceedings may drag for some period as the member could seek time to give his reply. “This process could be time-consuming,” sources said.