If political sources are to be believed, the BJP in Rajasthan has started chalking out a strategy to dismantle the Congress government -- it is eying six former BSP MLAs who had merged with the Congress in September last year. Simultaneously, it is also trying to lure away the 13 independent MLAs with an aim to get a chunk of votes in the Rajya Sabha elections due March 26.
On March 6, BJP MLA Madan Dilawar submitted a petition to Speaker C.P. Joshi praying for the disqualification of the respondents (ex-BSP MLAs) from the membership of the Rajasthan Assembly from September 16, 2019, quoting disqualification under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The former BSP MLAs are Lakhan Singh, Rajender Singh Guda, Deepchand, Joginder Singh Avana, Sandeep Kumar and Vajib Ali.
The petition signed by Dilawar claims there has been no merger of the BSP into the Indian National Congress. Even at present, the BSP is continuing as a recognised political party, both at the state and the national level.
“Since the Bahujan Samaj Party never merged with the Congress, therefore its legislature party has no power or right to merge their party with the Indian National Congress or, with any other party,” said the petition.
The petition further says that the respondents have voluntarily given up the membership of the Bahujan Samaj Party, on whose ticket they were elected, and joined the Congress in violation of the provisions of law. Hence, they are liable to be disqualified under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
Deputy leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said that the party is ready to go to court if the Speaker fails to act against the six MLAs.
Meanwhile, BJP’s local leaders are busy meeting the Independents to ensure that the party gets substantial votes in the Rajya Sabha elections.
The BJP fielded a second candidate, Omkar Singh Lakhawat, at the eleventh hour as party’s second candidate for Rajya Sabha polls, ensuring a tough fight for the seats from the state. Otherwise, the party is slated to get one Rajya Sabha seat. The decision on the second candidate leaves little room for a unanimous election.
The BJP has already fielded extra candidates in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for the Rajya Sabha polls which are Narhari Ameen and Ranjana Baghel respectively.
The Kamal Nath government is in deep crisis in MP after the resignation of its 22 MLAs and its senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the BJP. Things are not very rosy in Gujarat too where five Congress MLAs have resigned while the remaining are camping in Rajasthan to escape horse-trading.
For one Rajya Sabha seat from Rajasthan, a party requires 51 votes. The BJP has 76 members (73 BJP and 3 RLP). That means there are 25 votes extra which it wants to cash in on.
“If all goes well, we shall make a comeback not only in RS polls with two members, but will also form government in the state as there is a strong faction in the present Congress government which stands segregated. So MP story will definitely be scripted in the coming months in Rajasthan,” said a senior BJP leader.
A Congress leader said cross-voting would definitely take place in the RS polls as “we are not happy with our second candidate, Neeraj Dangi, who had lost assembly elections thrice but surprisingly has been given the opportunity by the CM”. (IANS)