BJP expects PM not to seek support from convicted MPs

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (UNI) As doubts have arisen over the ruling UPA government enjoying majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, following the withdrawal of support by the Left parties, the BJP today said it expected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to take support of the convicted members to prove majority.

Although BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad took the name of one convicted MP from Bihar, there were at least five convicted members who cannot contest future elections, because of their prison terms.

The Representation of People's Act prohibits a citizen from contesting polls, if he was found guilty of any offence carrying a jail term beyond two years. There can't be a situation where the MPs will come to Parliament everytime the government is in trouble and vote for the government, Mr Prasad underlined.

He said the MPs, he was talking of, were convicts facing 20 year imprisonment and no longer on bail. To attend a Parliament session, they have to obtain a Court Order and not through the orders of the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Asked about BJP's convicted MP Navjyot Singh Siddhu, Mr Prasad said he had filed a revision petition before the Supreme Court regarding the eligibility criteria to contest elections. The Apex Court after three days of argument had given a special permission to him for contesting the Amritsar Lok Sabha byelections.

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