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5 BSP MLAs disqualified by speaker

VIDHAN SABHA Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey today disqualified the five Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rebels ? Surendra Vikram Singh, Jaiveer Singh, Ram Krishna, Dharam pal and Ramji Shukla ? who had switched their loyalties back to the BSP, thereby disassociating themselves from the Samajwadi Party.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 01:24 IST

VIDHAN SABHA Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey today disqualified the five Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rebels — Surendra Vikram Singh, Jaiveer Singh, Ram Krishna, Dharam pal and Ramji Shukla — who had switched their loyalties back to the BSP, thereby disassociating themselves from the Samajwadi Party.

The speaker read out the operative portion of his 36-page order, disqualifying the five MLAs under the provisions of para 2 (1) of the 10th schedule of the Constitution, at a hurriedly convened press conference here this evening. This is for the first time that any MLA has been disqualified under the provisions of 10th schedule, the main objective of which was to check anti-defection activities.

Loktantrik Bahujan Dal chief whip Yogesh Pratap Singh had filed a petition seeking disqualification of the five MLAs on April 5, 2006 for deserting the Samajwadi Party and switching over their loyalties to the BSP.

Counsel for the five MLAs had argued that the LBD was nowhere in existence as it had been merged with the Samajwadi Party. He said the petitioner had not given any details about when and how LBD came back into existence after its merger with SP.

The speaker had reserved his verdict on June 5, 2006 after hearing arguments from both the sides. The five MLAs were part of the group of 38 BSP rebels who had left the BSP and formed the LBD that subsequently merged with the Samajwadi Party. These five MLAs had rejoined the BSP on March 1, 2006 following the Allahabad High Court’s majority verdict on February 28, 2006 quashing the speaker’s orders recognising the split in the BSP and the subsequent merger of the LBD with the SP.

The speaker, in his order, noted that the five MLAs had nowhere denied the split in the BSP and the subsequent formation of the LBD. By questioning their own conduct over formation of the LBD the MLAs have been ‘estopped’, said the speaker, adding the LBD came into existence as a political party on August 26, 2003 following the split in the BSP. LBD’s existence did not depend on speaker’s recognition, he said. Besides the Supreme Court’s order of March 24, 2006 protected the recognition of LBD, he said.

Moreover, the five MLAs have not disputed the fact they went back to the BSP on March 1, 2006, said the speaker adding they have now filed an affidavit questioning the formation of LBD. This act of the five MLAs of leaving and rejoining the BSP was completely under the purview of para 2(1) (A) of the 10th schedule of the Constitution. “Hence, the five MLAs stood disqualified,” he said.

As they have neither claimed any division nor merger and have a party of only five MLAs (which is neither one-third nor two-third of the LDB or the Samajwadi Party they have no defence against the provisions of para 3 and 4 of 10th schedule of the Constitution, said the speaker.

Meanwhile, the disqualified MLA Jaivir Singh said the speaker had given his verdict under pressure of Samajwadi Party. He said the verdict was also in violation of SC directives. This case was listed in the SC for hearing on July 14, 2006, said Singh adding he would also hold legal consultations to challenge the speaker’s order. Another disqualified MLA Ram Kishan said in Sitapur the decision was expected and they would move court against it.

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 01:24 IST