July 31, 2021 5:41:26 am
BJP MLA and Opposition leader in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Friday announced that the party was likely to move court seeking disqualification of saffron party MLA Mukul Roy, who had switched to the TMC after the state poll results, from the House.
The remarks came after Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee on Friday held a second hearing on the BJP plea for Roy’s disqualification under the anti-defection law.
“We don’t have any hope from the system. We’re planning to go to court in August. The Speaker should complete the matter in time and a decision should be taken. That’s our demand,” said Adhikari, who attended the hearing. On June 18, Adhikari had submitted the petition to Banerjee saying Roy should be disqualified under Rule 6 of the Members of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, read with Article 191 (2) and paragraph 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. The first hearing was held on July 16 when Adhikari submitted a 68-page document in support of his demand.
After the hearing, Adhikari said, “The anti-defection law has not been enforced in Bengal in the last 10 years. We have faith in the speaker.”
The decision to disqualify a legislator is exclusively taken by the Speaker. The Constitution does not specify any time frame for the process, which involves an inquiry, hearings and setting up of a committee. The West Bengal Legislative Assembly office said the next hearing would be held on August 17.
Meanwhile, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Mukul Roy skipped its first meeting. News agency PTI reported that Roy was accompanying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi. TMC MLA Tapas Roy said, “Roy informed through e-mail that he would not be present. The Speaker used his discretion and allowed the meeting to be held. The BJP has no right to question the Speaker’s decision.”
Usually, an Opposition MLA is appointed the PAC chairman.
However, Roy, who continues to be a BJP MLA from Krishnanagar Uttar, is yet to resign from the House after his switch to the TMC on June 11. He was named the PAC chairman on July 9 before the Budget session of the Assembly ended. The BJP then proposed Ashok Lahiri’s name for the post. BJP MLAs, who were made chairpersons of other standing committees, had resigned in protest against Roy’s nomination. Speaker Banerjee later selected TMC MLAs for these posts.
Adhikari said the anti-defection law was applicable in Roy’s case and “despite this, he was made the PAC chairman”.
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