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BSP demands rebel MLAs be seated with them after HC verdict

By Staff
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Lucknow, Mar 1 (UNI) The Opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today created pandemonium in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly over yesterday's High Court verdict after which it claimed that the 38 rebel MLAs who had joined the ruling Samajwadi Party were now once again its members.

The agitated BSP members today moved a notice before Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey asking him to direct the 38 MLAs to share benches with BSP members. But the Speaker turned down their plea, claiming that he needed time to study the yesterday's judgement of the three member larger bench of the HC.

Amid slogan shouting, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav cautioned the Opposition against using ''force'' (zabardasti) on the 38 MLAs.

Members of the BSP and SP indulged in slogan shouting which stalled the proceedings of the House for two hours from 1100 hrs to 1300 hrs.

The Speaker had suspended the Question Hour today to enable Leader of Opposition and BJP legislature Party leader Lalji Tandon to make a speech on state budget presented in the House on February 15. But Mr Tandon could not deliver his speech amid slogan shouting.

The BSP later announced to boycott the proceedings of the house for the day.

After more than two years of legal wrangling, the three-judge Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court comprising Chief Justice Ajoy Nath Ray, Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Jagdish Bhalla pronounced the 2-1 verdict yesterday. Justice Ray rejected the petition against the defection, while the other two judges accepted the petition, but remanded the case back to the Speaker.

Former UP chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati claimed here that the 38 MLAs were now in fact a part of the BSP. ''The judges have quashed four orders of the Assembly Speaker, including that of recognising the split in BSP, merger of 37 MLAs in SP, merger of yet another 3 MLAs in SP and the cancellation of a BSP writ before the Speaker last year seeking the disqualification of rebel MLAs...this proves that the four orders are now non-existent. Therefore the 38 MLAs are now with BSP,'' claimed BSP's counsel and party general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra.

While 40 MLAs had joined the SP, two were disqualified from the Assembly, one of them (Udhay Bhan Singh) was convicted in a double murder case and the other (Ram Bual Nishad) convicted in a poll-related case.

UNI MB NAB ARS MA KP1435

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