With the Sharad Yadav group charting out a separate path, the Nitish Kumar faction of the Janata Dal-United on Tuesday welcomed the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker’s decision to disqualify 18 AIADMK MLAs and urged that its petition for action against two rebel MPs, including Yadav, be acted upon.
“The JD-U welcomes Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision to disqualify 18 dissident MLAs following a petition by AIADMK Chief Whip for anti-party activities,” JD-U Secretary General KC Tyagi said.
The Tamil Nadu Speaker had on Monday announced the expulsion of 18 MLAs owing allegiance to an AIADMK faction led by expelled Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran.
Tyagi said the development once again highlighted the powers conferred on the Speaker under the Tenth Schedule [Articles 102(2) and 192(2)] of the Constitution.
“The law allows a member of the House to be disqualified if he has voluntarily given up his membership of his party. The provision includes the conduct of the member outside the House too,” he said.
“At present, the JD-U rebels are also facing the same trial in the Rajya Sabha regarding their membership. (Former JD-U chief) Sharad Yadav was asked not to attend a Rashtriya Janata Dal rally in Patna on August 27, and it was specially conveyed to him that if he does so, it will be considered as voluntarily giving up the party membership,” Tyagi said.
After Sharad Yadav attended the rally, JD-U leaders R.C.P Singh and Sanjay Jha petitioned Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is ex officio Rajya Sabha Chairman, on September 5 to disqualify Yadav and another party leader Ali Anwar Ansari.
“We have taken a serious note of Congress member Anand Sharma and CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury advising the Rajya Sabha Chairman to refer the issue to the Ethics and Privileges Committee.
“When the Chairman is the competent authority to decide these matters as per the Tenth Schedule, an outsider’s comment or advice is not appreciable in constitutional proceedings,” Tyagi said.
On Monday, the JD-U faction of Sharad Yadav said they have full faith in Naidu’s political wisdom and were sure he would decide the matter (of Yadav’s and Ansari’s disqualification) impartially.
The JD-U, the ruling party in Bihar, faced a split after Chief Minister and JD-U President Nitish Kumar decided to break away from the Grand Alliance of JD-U, Congress and the RJD in July and go along with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the new government in the state.