A BJP delegation including the party's state unit president Rakesh Singh and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan submitted a memorandum to the Governor in this regard and urged him to intervene in restoring membership of Lodhi, who represents Pawai seat.
The opposition BJP on Wednesday sought Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon’s intervention in restoring membership of the saffron party MLA Prahlad Lodhi who was disqualified by the Assembly Speaker following his conviction by court in a 2014 assault case. A BJP delegation including the party’s state unit president Rakesh Singh and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan submitted a memorandum to the Governor in this regard and urged him to intervene in restoring membership of Lodhi, who represents Pawai seat.
A trial court had convicted Lodhi and 12 others and sentenced him to two-year imprisonment for attacking the tehsildar (a revenue official) of Raipura in August 2014. Following the court’s order, Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati disqualified Lodhi citing the Supreme Court’s ruling that a public representative should be disqualified as soon as he or she is convicted with imprisonment of two years or more. On November 7, the Madhya Pradesh High Court stayed Lodhi’s conviction and the two-year sentence till January 7.
In their memorandum, BJP leaders urged the Governor that as Lodhi’s conviction was stayed, his membership should be restored. Rakesh Singh said the speaker had disqualified Lodhi and informed the Election Commission declaring Pawai Assembly seat vacant within 48 hours of Lodhi’s conviction.
The speaker took this decision even as the local court allowed Lodhi to move a review petition in the higher court, he said. “The speaker’s decision to disqualify Lodhi was undemocratic. Even eight days after the High Court’s stay on Lodhi’s conviction, the speaker hasn’t restored his Assembly membership,” the state BJP chief said.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress said the speaker took the decision to disqualify Lodhi in accordance with the apex court’s ruling. “The speaker’s decision to disqualify Lodhi is in accordance with the SC verdict. If the BJP really sees any violation in Speaker’s decision, it should move court to seek guidance instead of making it a political issue,” Congress leader Bhupendra Gupta said.
Justifying the speaker’s action, he said the high court only stayed Lodhi’s conviction and did not give any ruling on his membership or disqualification.