THE STATE Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to file a petition before Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey in the current session of the House, seeking disqualification of its three turncoat MLAs, who recently joined the Samajwadi Party (SP).
The three MLAs, who deserted the saffron brigade, to join hands with Mulayam Singh Yadav are: Mahendra Singh Yadav (Bulandshahar), Amarjit Singh Jansewak (Bindki, Fatehpur) and Shyam Singh Ahirwar (Mathura).
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon told Hindustan Times that the three legislators had no right to be members of the Lower House after defection under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and they should immediately be disqualified.
However, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey is unlikely to decide on the petition on an early date. It is not Constitutionally binding on him to decide on such petitions within a stipulated time frame.
Leaders of the BJP expressed the apprehension that the Speaker might declare the three MLAs as ‘unattached’ with a new seating arrangement for them in the House. This arrangement might continue till the term of the House expired, they added. In that situation, the BJP was helpless, as no time limit had been fixed for the Speaker to decide such cases. It is his discretion to give his verdict whenever he wants to.
Meanwhile, there is no unanimity among the BJP leaders on expulsion of two more party legislators, who have been in touch with rival political outfits, to get an assurance of ticket for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections. “The two legislators are sure to desert the party but it is difficult to decide whether they should be sacked right now or the party should wait for their next move,” said Lalji Tandon.
It may be recalled that there is now no provision for defection in the Tenth Schedule and only merger of a party into another has been allowed that too with two-thirds majority. The three MLAs deserting the BJP to join the Samajwadi Party are liable to be disqualified with immediate effect, but only when the Speaker decides on the petition on an early date.
Tandon admitted that he had no way to force the Speaker to disqualify the three legislators immediately, but he would urge the Speaker to do justice and decide the case as soon as possible. Inordinate delay in disqualifying the turncoat MLAs would defeat the basic purpose of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, he observed.