SC issues notice to Rajasthan Assembly Speaker on pleas against merger of BSP MLAs with Congress

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New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday sought responses from Rajasthan Assembly Speaker and others on two separate pleas against the merger of all six BSP MLAs into the ruling Congress legislature party in the state.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and BJP MLA Madan Dilawar have filed separate appeals against an order of the Rajasthan High Court which asked the Speaker to decide within three months a disqualification petition against all the six BSP MLAs 'merging' with the ruling Congress party.

A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and K M Joseph, in the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, also issued notices to the Assembly secretary and all the six MlAs who defected and merged with the Congress.

The merger was a boost to Ashok Gehlot-led state government as the tally of the Congress increased to over 100 in the House of 200 MLAs.

On August 24, the high court had asked the Speaker to decide within three months the disqualification petition filed by Dilawar.

Allowing the plea partially, the high court had set aside the July 22 order of the Speaker rejecting the disqualification petition filed by him in March last year.

It had dismissed a writ petition filed by the BSP in the matter, while giving the party liberty to file a disqualification petition with the Speaker.

Dilawar had filed the petition in the high court challenging the merger of six BSP MLAs - Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha - with the Congress and demanded a stay on the execution of the order passed by the Speaker.

The top court had on the same day disposed of as 'infructuous' Dilawar's plea seeking stay on the Rajasthan Speaker's decision allowing the MLAs to merge with the Congress after the high court had passed its order on the same issue.

The MLAs had contested and won the 2018 assembly elections on BSP tickets but later defected to the Congress party in September 2019.

The MLAs had submitted an application for the merger on September 16, 2019 and the Speaker issued an order on September 18, 2019. PTI ABA SJK MNL SA