Rajasthan HC Issues Notices to Speaker, 6 BSP MLAs on Cong Merger
BSP had filed a writ petition in HC against the merger of the six MLAs of the party with the Congress.
The Rajasthan High Court on Thursday, 30 July, issued notices to the Speaker, the secretary of the Legislative Assembly, and the six BSP MLAs in connection with the merger of the legislators with the Congress party. The court has asked them to file replies by 11 August, ANI reported.
This comes a day after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) filed a writ petition in the high court against the merger of the six MLAs of the party with the Congress in the state.
Catch all live updates on the Rajasthan crisis here.
Mayawati’s Attack, Gehlot Govt’s Precarious Position
The BSP's move could possibly provide a setback to the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan, which holds only a slim majority in the Assembly after the rebellion of Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs. All eyes are on the the Assembly session in the state, which will start on 14 August, with Governor Kalraj Mishra finally giving his approval on Wednesday after days of back-and-forth.
On Tuesday, BSP supremo Mayawati hit out at Rajasthan CM Gehlot for merging the six BSP MLAs with the Congress and warned that she will move the Supreme Court in the matter, if need be.
“In Rajasthan, after election results, BSP gave unconditional support of all its six MLAs to the Congress. Unfortunately, CM Gehlot, out of his malicious intent and to damage BSP, merged them with Congress unconstitutionally. He did the same even in his last tenure,” Mayawati said in a media briefing, as quoted by ANI.
“BSP could have gone to the court earlier too, but we were looking for a time to teach Congress party and CM Ashok Gehlot a lesson. Now, we have decided to go to the court. We will not let this matter be. We will go even to the Supreme Court,” she said.
She further said that the six MLAs will be expelled from the BSP if they support the Gehlot government in the confidence motion.
BJP Also Files Petitions
Meanwhile, in a related development, a BJP leader on Tuesday had filed another petition in the high court challenging the decision of the Assembly Speaker to reject his complaint over six BSP MLAs joining Congress, with the plea seeking cancellation of the membership of the six MLAs.
The Rajasthan HC on Monday had dismissed a petition filed by the BJP against the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress. The BSP had earlier moved HC seeking to become a party in that petition.
Status of 6 MLAs Disputed
The status of these six MLAs is disputed. Ten months ago, all the six MLAs had announced their merger with the ruling Congress, boosting its numbers in the Assembly.
The BSP is now disputing the merger of the MLAs, arguing that as BSP is a national party, the merger of its MLAs in Rajasthan is not valid as the BSP hasn’t merged with the Congress at the national level.
The party on Sunday had instructed the six MLAs elected on its ticket to vote against the Congress in the eventuality of a trust vote. BSP General Secretary Satish Chandra Misra made this announcement late on Sunday in a release issued in the name of Mayawati.
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