July 30, 2020 1:15:32 am
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Wednesday filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court challenging the Assembly Speaker’s decision last year to approve the merger of six BSP MLAs into the ruling Congress.
The bench of Justice Mahendar Kumar Goyal tagged the BSP’s petition with that of a separate petition by BJP legislator Madan Dilawar against the merger, and began hearing both pleas.
Dilawar, who had on Tuesday filed two writ petitions, withdrew one on Wednesday. In it, he had challenged the Speaker’s communication yesterday, informing him that his petition seeking disqualification of the six BSP legislators has been rejected.
The matter will be heard next on Thursday.
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BSP state unit president Bhagwan Singh Baba said: “We have said in the petition that the merger is not valid since there hasn’t been any merger of the BSP, which is a national party, with the Congress at the national level. No merger can take place without approval of the party president.”
Appearing through video-conferencing for Dilawar, senior advocate Harish Salve, who had earlier represented the group of 19 rebel Congress MLAs, argued that until there is a merger of the party at the national level, the state unit of a national party cannot merge on its own since it is illegal.
The BSP was represented by senior advocate and the party’s national general secretary, Satish Chandra Misra, who also appeared through video conferencing.
Dinesh Kumar Garg, a counsel for the BSP, said: “We challenged the Speaker’s September 18, 2019 order approving the merger…. The merger took place after the MLAs submitted an application to the Speaker on September 16. We have said this was contrary to constitutional provisions of Schedule X.”
Advocate Ashish Sharma, a counsel for Dilawar, said: “Our argument was on the point of Schedule X of Constitution and on basis of paragraph 4 and 2 of the Schedule, challenging the merger.”
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