Jaipur, Jul 30 (PTI) The Rajasthan high court on Thursday sought stands of the Rajasthan assembly speaker and its secretary on two pleas challenging the induction of six BSP MLAs in the Congress last September.
A bench of Justice Mahendra Kumar Goyal sought the stands of the six defecting BSP MLAs also, issuing them notices along with the notices to the assembly Speaker and its secretary.
The bench issued notices on two petitions, one filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar and the other by the BSP.
The bench asked respondents to file their replies by August 11, slating the next hearing on the matter the same day.
The petition by BJP MLA Dilawar has challenged the merger of all six BSP MLAs to the Congress, questioning the Speaker’s order dismissing his complaint against the merger without allowing him to have his say in the proceeding.
The BSP too has challenged the defection of its MLAs to another party.
“The notices have been issued to the Speaker and Secretary of the assembly and six MLAs. They have to submit a reply by August 11,” a counsel for Dilawar told reporters.
Appearing for the BSP through video links, senior party leader Satish Mishra, also a senior advocate, argued that the BSP is a national level party and it has not merged itself with the Congress either at the national level or state level.
This makes the merger of the BSP MLAs to the Congress inside the assembly invalid, he contended.
Appearing for BJP MLA Dilawar, senior counsel Harish Salve argued that he has a locus to challenge the decision of merger and seek anti-defection law proceedings as per the tenth schedule of the Constitution.
He said the decision taken by the Speaker without affording an opportunity to his client to have a say in the proceeding is “against the principle of natural justice” and “bad in law”.
MLAs Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha had contested and won the 2018 assembly elections on BSP tickets but they all had defected to Congress in September 2019.
They submitted an application for the merger on September 16, 2019 and the Speaker allowed their induction to the Congress two days later on September 18, 2019.
The Merger of BSP MLAs to the ruling Congress was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of Congress increased to 107 in the house of 200. PTI CORR SDA RAX RAX