6 Rajasthan BSP MLAs seek to transfer plea against their merger with Congress to SC

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On Saturday, 6 Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs from Rajasthan moved Apex Court seeking transfer of the case against their merger with the Congress party in the state from the High Court of Rajasthan to the Supreme Court.

The BSP MLAs, in their plea, submitted that similar matters pertaining to the interpretation of Para 4 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, are already pending before the Top Court.

The plea said that “It is important to also note that there is an urgent need to clarify the law in respect of the scope & purport of Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule, to ensure that there are no conflicting judgments, involving substantial questions of interpretation of the Constitution, by an interpretation by this court”.

It submitted that subparagraph (1) of Paragraph 4 contemplates that a 13 member of the house will not attract disqualification under Paragraph 2, if his original political party merges with another political party.

“All the six persons, being the entire Legislative Party of the BSP merged with the Legislature Party of the Indian National Congress (INC), & the same came to be recognised by the Order of the Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly September 18, 2019,” the plea stated.

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Further, subparagraph (2) creates a legal fiction of a merger of the legislative party being treated as a merger of the original political party, it added.

This comes even as the Rajasthan HC is scheduled to hear on Aug 11 a plea filed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) & BJP leader Madan Dilawar against the merger, which had helped the ruling party in retaining a majority in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly,

On July 30, the HC heard the application seeking a stay on the order announcing the merger & issued notices to the Speaker, Secretary of the Legislative Assembly & 6 BSP MLAs in the state asking them to file their reply before the next date of hearing.

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The development holds significance as it comes in the backdrop of a political crisis in Rajasthan Congress after simmering differences between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot & his deputy Sachin Pilot came out in the open.

Pilot, along with 18 other MLAs supporting him, is reportedly staying at a Haryana hotel. The Congress has accused the BJP of attempting to topple the Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan. The BJP has denied the charge. 

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