‘TDP MPs joining BJP justified, but…’: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot counters ‘BSP-Congress merger unconstitutional’ argument

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Updated: Jul 31, 2020 3:48 PM

Rajasthan: The merger of BSP MLAs with the Congress was seen as a major boost to the Ashok Gehlot government as the tally of the Congress increased to 107 in the 200-member House.

bsp congress merger Rajasthan: CM Ashok Gehlot accuses Mayawati of being under pressure from the BJP. He said this after Mayawati termed as unconstitutional the merger of BSP and Congress.

BSP-Congress merger in Rajasthan: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday teared into Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati’s acquisition of luring away her six party MLAs. Gehlot in his comments rubbished the charge and put forth the TDP-BJP merger in the Rajya Sabha to counter objections raised on BSP MLAs joining the Congress.

Gehlot sought to know “how the BSP MLAs merger with the Congress in Rajasthan was unjustified” as he referred to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs joining with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Rajya Sabha in 2019. He then went on to accuse Mayawati of being under pressure from the BJP.

READ MORE: Mayawati says BSP-Congress merger unconstitutional in Rajasthan

“If BJP takes away four TDP MLAs in the Rajya Sabha overnight, it is justified. But if six MLAs in Rajasthan merge with Congress, it is unjustified?” he asked.

“Mayawati fears the BJP; so she is making such statements,” he alleged.

Four of six TDP MPs in Rajya Sabha had in June last year joined the BJP. The TDP is headed by former Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.

Gehlot’s remark comes a day after the Rajasthan High Court issued notices to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi, secretary of the legislative assembly and six BSP MLAs. The HC issued the notices while hearing the writ petitions filed by the BSP and BJP MLA Madan Dilawar against the six MLAs defecting to the Congress. The HC has asked them to reply by August 11.

The BSP had won six seats in the Assembly elections held in 2018. All the six MLAs, however, joined the Congress in 2019. The six BSP MLAs who defected to the Congress are — Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha.

BSP chief Mayawati has termed as unconstitutional the merger of her party MLAs with the Congress in the state. In her remark earlier this week, Mayawati said that the party has asked all its six MLAs to vote against the Congress government in the Assembly, failing which their party membership will be cancelled.

Lashing out at Ashok Gehlot, she had said, “In Rajasthan, after the election results BSP gave unconditional support of all its 6 MLAs to Congress. Unfortunately CM Ashok Gehlot, out of his malicious intent and to damage BSP, merged them with Congress “unconstitutional”. He did the same even in his last tenure.”

The merger of BSP MLAs with the Congress was seen as a major boost to the Ashok Gehlot government as the tally of the Congress increased to 107 in the 200-member House.

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