BHOPAL: A delegation of opposition BJP led by state party president Rakesh Singh met Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon here on Wednesday, for restoring Vidhan Sabha membership of party MLA Prahlad Lodhi, who was disqualified as House member by Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati on November 2 following his conviction and two years jail term by a Special Court in Bhopal on October 31.
The delegation which also included Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, party’s chief whip in the state assembly Dr Narottam Mishra and the “disqualified” legislator Prahlad Lodhi, handed over a representation to the Governor at Raj Bhawan, seeking restoration of Lodhi’s assembly membership in the wake of the MP High Court suspending the Special Court’s conviction and sentence for two months on November 7.
“We’ve submitted a detailed representation to the Governor, who has assured to look into the matter and act in accordance with the established law,” state BJP president Rakesh Singh told journalists after the meeting with the Governor which lasted for around 20 minutes.
“According to Article 192 of the Constitution of India, the decision regarding disqualification of any legislator can be taken only by the Governor, as he’s the constitutional head of the state. But by deciding in the matter within two days of the Special Court order in the 2014 case, the Speaker and the Vidhan Sabha secretariat have wrongly exercised the powers,” said BJP’s chief whip in Vidhan Sabha Dr Narottam Mishra.
The Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava added, “In haste, the Speaker declared our MLA from backward caste disqualified and his Pawai assembly seat vacant in pursuance of a 2013 Supreme Court order by which a lawmaker sentenced to two years in jail or more is automatically disqualified. But the same urgency hasn’t been shown by the Speaker in restoring the disqualified MLA’s membership six days after the High Court suspended his conviction and jail term in the 2014 case. If the Speaker is so punctual in acting as per the SC order, he should show some urgency in restoring the MLA’s membership in the wake of the HC order. It’s perhaps the first time in the history of MP that an Assembly Speaker is violating HC order directly or indirectly,” said Bhargava.
The “disqualified” MLA Prahlad Lodhi, meanwhile, expressed hope that he would be able to attend the Vidhan Sabha’s winter session slated next month, as the Speaker will restore his House membership in the days to come.
Importantly, this is the second time in eight days that top BJP leaders in the state have met the Governor over the same issue.
Importantly, as per Congress and state government sources, the state government will file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court shortly against HC order, which suspended conviction and jail sentence of the BJP MLA in the 2014 case of assault on a government team in Panna district.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)