Prakash Bhandari, Jaipur: In a fresh twist to the Rajasthan political crisis, Assembly Speaker CP Joshi and the BSP have approached the Supreme Court on the issue of merger of six BSP MLAs into Rajasthan Congress. The Congress and the BSP have locked horns over the merger issue, with BSP chief Mayawati terming it as constitutionally invalid.
Notably, CP Joshi has approached the apex court with a plea that the petition of BJP MLA Madan Dilawar be transferred from the Rajasthan High Court to the Supreme Court. Dilawar has approached the Rajasthan High Court against the merger of the BSP MLAs in Congress. The BJP MLA has demanded that the merger of the six MLAs in Congress be terminated as it is in contravention of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
Surprisingly, the merger was approved by Speaker CP Joshi within two days of receiving an application from the BSP MLAs. Joshi in his plea before the Supreme Court has requested it to hear the petition filed by the BJP MLA on the merger issue as well since the issue is already being heard by the apex court.
BSP’s smart move
Meanwhile, the BSP in a smart move has urged the Supreme Court to transfer its pending petition from the high court to the apex court. It has also urged that the issue relating to the merger is being heard in the Supreme Court.
Tenth Schedule of the Constitution
So, the Speaker and the BSP have approached the Supreme Court with similar pleas quoting the judgments of the Assam High Court in 2014 and Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1997.
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The high courts in the case of mergers of the MLAs of the two states have given different judgments that are being questioned in the apex court. BSP said in its plea that the spirit of the provisions of the Tenth Schedule was to discourage defections that affect the country’s legislative system.
The Speaker of Rajasthan Assembly approved the merger of all the six BSP MLAs into Congress on September 19, 2019. However, the BSP has challenged the merger of the BSP MLAs into the Congress contending that BSP did not merge with the Indian National Congress at the national level. The BSP has contended that there are legal provisions under which a case can be transferred from the high court to the Supreme Court.
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