Is the BJP Still the Majority Party in Lok Sabha? The Debate is On
In spite of taking oath as MLAs, Sriramalu and Yeddyurappa are still listed as MPs.
Is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) still the single largest majority party in the Lok Sabha? The answer, intrinsically, depends on another question – is BS Yeddyurappa an MP or an MLA?
Let’s break it down.
On 19 May, BS Yeddyurappa took oath as a member of Karnataka’s Legislative Assembly. But since Yeddyurappa was also elected Member of Parliament in 2014 from the Shikaripura constituency, he had to make a choice – to be an MP or an MLA. Ideally, as per rules, he has 14 days to submit his resignation. But, there is no time limit on the Speaker to accept the resignation.
So, Yeddyurappa’s continuance as MP really rests on the discretion of Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
However, there’s a catch. As per a set of documents uploaded on the Lok Sabha website, Yeddyurappa’s resignation as MP was accepted by the Speaker on 18 May.
So, What’s the Fuss About?
If BS Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu did, in fact, resign as MPs, it would mean that the Bharatiya Janata Party is no longer the single-largest party in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP’s claim came under a cloud when the Karnataka Congress social media head, Srivatsa, tweeted a screenshot from the Lok Sabha website showing the number of BJP MPs as 271, suggesting that Yeddyurappa and Sriramulu’s exit had been accounted for.
But a subsequent check on the Lok Sabha website shows the number of BJP MPs has been revised back to reflect 274.
Clerical Error or a Rude Wake Up Call?
Was this turnaround the result of a clerical error or a rude awakening to the fact that the BJP’s position as a majority party was under threat? We are unlikely to get an official response any time soon to the question it raises over the political future of BS Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu.
Have their resignations been accepted or are they still under consideration? Also, will we see two additional bypolls to two Lok Sabha constituencies or two Assembly constituencies in Karnataka?
Some social media commentary has also veered towards whether the BJP really does have 274 MPs in the Lok Sabha. If the two Karnataka leaders do resign from the Lok Sabha, and also considering the fact that Kirti Azad has been suspended from the party, the BJP’s position as the majority party is under threat.
Crucial Bypolls Ahead
Along with Azad, if one were to also take into account BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha’s open rebellion against his own government, the May 28 bypolls to four Lok Sabha seats are crucial to the BJP’s claim of being the only party to have a complete majority in the Lok Sabha after Rajiv Gandhi’s landslide victory in 1984.
Additionally, the loss in Karnataka and recent bypoll trends have been less than encouraging. Of the nine bypolls, the BJP lost in six – in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Phulpur (Uttar Pradesh), Beed (Madhya Pradesh), Gurdaspur (Punjab), Alwar (Rajasthan) and Ajmer (Rajasthan).
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