Obtaining a week's breather from the state governor to prove his majority, the Arjun Munda-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Jharkhand seems to be issuing disqualification threats to the legislators as a weapon to tame the rebels and win the trust vote.
Some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators have lodged a complaint with Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari against three rebel legislators alleging that they had violated the constitution.
Two legislators were accused of violating the whip of their respective parties by the BJP. The speaker has asked the legislators to file a reply by Sep 11.
The petitions have been filed against Kamlesh Singh and Stephen Marandi. A petition against another legislator, Enos Ekka, is already pending with the speaker.
Jharkhand Governor Syed Sibte Razi has asked Munda to prove his majority by Sep 15.
Dinesh Sarangi and Saryu Rai, both BJP legislators, in petitions to the speaker, have said: "Kamlesh voted in favour of the NDA government after the assembly election of 2005 despite his party (National Congress Party) whip directing him to vote against the alliance".
"Kamlesh Singh has violated the constitution by the act since he was asked to vote for the United Progressive Alliance," said Sarangi.
"We demand that the issue should be decided in a day or two so that Singh is not allowed to again change his side," he said.
Another petition is filed against Marandi. The petition has been filed by Putkar Hembrom and Chandresh Oraon, both BJP legislators.
In their petition they have said that Marandi won the elections as an independent legislator and later joined the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) which is a political outfit. In their petition they argued that an independent legislator cannot join any party.
The petition against Ekka is already pending with the speaker. Ekka belongs to the Jharkhand Party (JP) which had issued a whip to vote in favour of the shortlived Shibu Soren government in March last year. Ekka supported the NDA against the party whip.
Samir Oraon, another BJP legislator, has requested the speaker to pass the judgment on Ekka so that he could be prevented from changing sides.
Confirming the petitions, the speaker said: "The petitioners have requested fast judgment. I am going through the cases. In the case of Ekka, the hearing has been completed and the judgment will soon be pronounced."
Singh and Ekka have revolted against the NDA government led by Arjun Munda.
After this week's resignation of four ministers—Harunaryan Rai, Madhu Koda, Kamlesh Singh and Enos Ekka—the Munda government has been reduced to a minority in the 82-member house. After withdrawal of their support the NDA majority has reduced to 39.