“It is evident now that Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has violated the Constitution as well as twice used his deceit to poach and induct the BSP MLAs into Congress party fold. He has also committed grave acts of illegal phone tapping. The governor must take a cognisance of such political instability and seek a President’s Rule in Rajasthan” Mayawati said on Twitter.
1. जैसाकि विदित है कि राजस्थान के मुख्यमंत्री श्री गहलोत ने पहले दल-बदल कानून का खुला उल्लंघन व बीएसपी के साथ लगाता… https://t.co/YiCa7bAO8d
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) 1595052481000
2. इस प्रकार, राजस्थान में लगातार जारी राजनीतिक गतिरोध, आपसी उठा-पठक व सरकारी अस्थिरता के हालात का वहाँ के राज्यपाल… https://t.co/5rCscY9JNr
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) 1595052482000
TOI had reported on Wednesday that six BSP MLAs who had joined the ruling Congress in Rajasthan in 2019 are likely to play a crucial role in case Gehlot is called to take a floor test to prove his government’s majority in the Assembly. This was the second time since 2009 when six MLAs of BSP had moved sides to join the Congress. Gehlot was the chief minister then too.
The fresh move by Mayawati comes a day after BJP sought disqualification of the six BSP MLAs by writing a letter to Rajasthan assembly Speaker C P Joshi.
“I had conveyed to you that September 18, 2019 induction of elected legislators of BSP into Congress should lead to their disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. The decision is still pending. I appeal for an early decision on this issue,” BJP MLA Madan Dilawar, from Kota’s Ramganj Mandi, reiterated his party’s earlier stance on March 6 this year.
The status of the six MLAs was called into question in June, ahead of the voting for three Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan, when BSP general secretary Satish Mishra wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner and sought that the six legislators be debarred from voting as Congress members.
In his letter on June 17, Mishra had written to the EC, “Six MLAs were elected on party symbols allotted by Mayawati and after winning polls, their names were duly notified in Election Commission’s gazette notification. However, speaker of Rajasthan assembly changed their nomenclature in his records without any notice to BSP. We don’t have a tie-up with Congress at national or state level, which is a mandatory condition under 10th schedule of Constitution of India.”
The MLAs include Rajendra Singh Gudha, Jogendra Singh Awana, Wajib Ali, Lakhan Singh, Sandeep Yadav and Deepchand.
Political analysts and constitutional experts believe the issue is likely to be flagged off again if the government goes for a floor test. In Rajasthan’s 200 MLA-strong assembly — where the majority mark is 101 — the Congress has 107 seats while the BJP has 72. Sachin Pilot has claimed support of 30-odd MLAs.
Senior Supreme Court advocate Ashok Bhan cited previous rulings where the court said the defected MLAs weren’t allowed to vote unless the “merger included the party as a whole, not just a few lawmakers”.
According to senior constitutional expert Subash Kashyap, while any member of the assembly can file a petition with the speaker to seek disqualification of defected MLAs, the party whose MLAs have defected also have the option of approaching a court of law. “The votes of defected MLAs in case of a floor test are valid as long as they are not disqualified by the speaker.”
A senior BSP leader had told TOI that the party is still awaiting the Election Commission’s response to their letter. “We plan to move court on why we were not informed about Rajasthan assembly speaker’s decision to change the MLAs nomenclature.”