BSP MPs' disqualification revives interest in Babbar, Beni

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) The disqualification of the three Bahujan Samaj Party MPs from Uttar Pradesh by the Priveleges Committee of the Lok Sabha has evoked interest in two more political figures of Uttar Pradesh--Beni Prasad Verma and film star Raj Babbar.

While a Samajwadi Party petition against its former general secretary and former union minister Beni Prasad Verma, a Member of the Lok Sabha, is pending before the Speaker, the party is yet to make any move against Mr Babbar who had been elected to the Lower House on the party ticket from Agra.

Both Mr Verma and Mr Babbar campaigned against their parties in the last Assembly elections.

While the former SP general secretary launched his own party, Mr Babbbar joined the V P Singh-led Jan Morcha which formed a sort of third front with some other UP parties like RLD etc but virtully fragmented just on the eve of Assembly elections when the constituent parties could not agree on seat sharing.

Ever since, Mr Babbar announced his revolt against the ''brokers culture'' of the Samajwadi Party and its ''corrupt'' regime and aligned himself with Mr VP Singh, the Samajwadi Party has been frequently asked whether it would be taking any action against one of its star campaigners, and Mr Babbar too had to face the uncomfortable question of whether he would be resigning from his seat, if he found the party not worth associating with.

He had been dismissing these questions with ''Let the party take whatever decision it likes, I am not concerned about that at all.'' Mr Verma had not only campaigned against the SP, but also shared platform with the Congress.

It is for similar activities that petitions for the disqualification of the three BSP MPs from Uttar Pradesh were filed by their party under anti-defection law on the ground that they had 'voluntarily' given up their membership of their party and joined the Samajwadi Party. These members had taken active part in the campaigne for the SP during the last Assembly polls.

On January 27, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee disqualified the three BSP members of the Lok Sabha on grounds of defection to the Samajwadi Party, and declared their seats vacant. These MPs are Bhalchandra Yadav, Ramakant Yadav and Mohammad Shahid Akhlaque.

This is the third major case of disqualification by the Lok Sabha Speaker after the anti-defection law came into force in 1985.

It was in 1991 that the law was invoked for disqualification of eight Janata Dal MPs during the Speakership of Rabi Ray. After that four MPs of the Ajit Singh group were disqualified by the then Speaker Shivraj Patil. However, the decision was later challeged in the court.

The Congress has also been seeking the disqualification of two of its MPS Rajya Sabha member Natwar Singh and K Bishnoi. Mr Singh not only openly attacked the party, but also hobnobbed with the SP sharing public platform with it many times.

A petition against Mr Bishnoi is also pending as he along with his father Bhajan Lal, launched a rebel outfit.

UNI NAZ SHB RS1749

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