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Rajasthan political crisis | Six BSP MLAs move Supreme Court

Rajasthan MLA Lakhan Singh. Photo: Facebook

Rajasthan MLA Lakhan Singh. Photo: Facebook  

Six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs, who “merged” with the Congress in the Rajasthan Assembly, have moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of a case, seeking their disqualification citing defection, which is pending in the State’s High Court.

The MLAs, led by Lakhan Singh, said the merger of two legislative parties in the House is protected under Paragraph 4(2) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

According to the paragraph, a merger is not defection if two-thirds of the members of the legislature party has agreed to it. The MLAs said the BSP’s Legislature Party was a total of six members in the Rajasthan Assembly and all of them had agreed to the move. Hence, there is no defection.

The case in the High Court for their disqualification was filed by BJP leader Madan Dilawar.

The MLAs have asked the Supreme Court to call forth the petition from the High Court and decide the “substantial question of law” as to whether “the original political party needs to merge apart from the merger of the legislative party” to gain the protection of Paragraph 4(2).

Nod from Speaker

The MLAs submitted that the merger had already been recognised by the Assembly Speaker.

“All the six persons, being the entire legislative party of the BSP merged with the legislature party of the Indian National Congress (INC), and the same came to be recognised by the Order of the Hon’ble Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on September 18, 2019,” their petition said in the Supreme Court.

It pointed out that Mr. Dilawar’s petition for disqualification of the six MLAs for voluntarily giving up their BSP membership to “defect” to the Congress fell flat when the Speaker dismissed it for non-compliance of the Rajasthan Legislative Members (Disqualification on the ground of defection) Rules of 1989.

“The entire basis for the writ petition (of Mr. Dilawar) pending before the High Court is that there has been no merger between the BSP and the INC. It is submitted that the Speaker of the Legislature, while acting under Paragraph 4(2), is not concerned with the happenings outside the legislature, so long as two-thirds of the legislature party has accepted the merger as contemplated,” the six MLAs contended.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 2:11:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-political-crisis-six-bsp-mlas-move-supreme-court/article32306182.ece

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