IF THE 13th Vidhan Sabha made it into record books for the creation of Uttaranchal and the split-after-split verdict, the 14th Vidhan Sabha will stand out for the record number of disqualifications of MLAs in the era of UP’s ‘aya ram gaya ram’ politics.
There have been too many firsts in the 14th Vidhan Sabha. Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey’s verdict on Saturday is bound to go a long way in defining the application of whip and cross-voting in Rajya Sabha polls. The Speaker’s verdict categorically stated that violation the whip and cross-voting by MLAs was an act of indiscipline and merited disqualification under the provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. This is the first case of disqualifications on such grounds in the State.
This was also for the first time that members of the 14th Vidhan Sabha were made to show their vote following amendment in the Representation of People’s Act. It was done to check horse trading in the Rajya Sabha elections.
The Speaker’s verdict disqualifying five Bahujan Samaj Party rebels (for switching their loyalty back to the BSP) under the provisions of para 2 (1) of 10th schedule on June 10, 2006 was another first. All the five disqualified MLAs Jaiveer Singh, Dharam Pal, Ram Krishna, Ramji Shukla and Surendra Vikram Singh now wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court on the issue.
Significantly, the ‘aya ram gaya ram’ politics has been gaining new dimensions in the State year after year despite the enactment of anti-defection laws.
In another first, the ethics committee of the Vidhan Sabha would meet here on Sunday to consider cases pertaining to three MLAs for their misconduct at public places.
Out of the three MLAs, two are from the Bahujan Samaj Party— Ghura Ram (Ballia) and Satish Verma (Hardoi) — the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Pratap Chaudhary.
The Speaker said he had taken serious note of complaints against the three MLAs. The ethics committee would hear the three MLAs and submit recommendations to the House that would thereafter take an appropriate action against them.
The Speaker said he would take suo moto note of the complaints against the MLAs. There are indications that the ethics committee may also take up the case of Samajwadi Party MLA Radhey Shyam Singh who humiliated and manhandled ARTO Kushinagar Sanjay Nath Jha recently. This is also for the first time that sting operations were carried out against three members of the House.
A committee chaired by the Dr PK Rai of Kushinagar is conducting an inquiry into the sting operation.
Governor TV Rajeswar’s decision to disqualify BSP member of the 14th Vidhan Sabha Udai Bhan Singh for conviction in a murder case too had created a record of sorts.
This leads to another aspect of composition of the 14th Vidhan Sabha. An impression had gained ground that the House had acquired the distinction of having the largest number of members with criminal antecedents.
If the members with criminal antecedents decided to form a government they would prove to be in majority was the observation made by a senior officer of the State Home Department soon after the 14th Vidhan Sabha was constituted.