In an unexpected new twist to the political crisis in Rajasthan, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has issued a whip on Sunday (26 July) to its six MLAs in Rajasthan who had exited the party to join Congress, to vote against the ruling party in the state in case of a trust motion in the Assembly.
The six of them, Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha won the 2018 assembly elections on BSP tickets. In september 2019, they applied for merger as a group with the Congress on September 16 last year. The Speaker passed an order two days later declaring that the six MLAs will be treated as an integral part of the Congress. It was considered one of the biggest setbacks for BSP in the state.
In a statement, BSP General Secretary Satish Chandra Misra said, “All six MLAs have been issued separate notices wherein they have been informed that since BSP is a recognised national party as such there cannot be any merger under para (4) of the 10th Schedule at the state level at the instance of six MLAs unless there is a merger of the entire BSP everywhere at the national level.”
Simply put, it means that the merger of the MLAs was not recognised by BSP.
If the six MLAs voted against the party whip, they were liable for disqualification from the assembly, Mishra said.
Mishra also said the BSP would intervene in the pending petition of disqualification before the Rajasthan High Court or file a separate writ petition.
The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the Congress tally increased to 107 in a House of 200. Gehlot had recently met with governor Kalraj Misra, claiming that he had the numbers and called to convene an assembly session urgently.
A BJP MLA had on Friday filed a petition in the Rajasthan High Court for quashing the merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress.