The legal validity of the Rajasthan Speaker's decision -- allowing six MLA of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party to join the Congress -- will be examined by the Supreme Court. The top court sent him a notice today, as well as the MLAs, asking for a response on the issue. The opposition BJP and the BSP had approached the top court challenging the merger.
Arguing for the BSP, senior advocate Satish Mishra told the court that the merger is illegal because unless there is merger at the national level, there cannot be a merger at the state-level for a national party.
The BSP being a national party, the decision of the Speaker is illegal and the state BSP cannot merge with the Congress, he said.
When the court asked Mr Mishra, whether the Speaker can decide the seating arrangement for these MLAs, he said the Speaker could have decided the seating arrangement. "But how can he say the party has merged? It is illegal and against the judgment of the top court," he added.
The judges agreed with the argument and issued a notice.
In September 2019, Rajasthan assembly speaker CP Joshi had approved the merger a day after the six joined the Congress. In February, the BJP, which lost the state election, sought their disqualification, which was rejected the Speaker.
The matter went to court after the rebellion of Sachin Pilot and his 18 loyalist MLAs last year, as BSP chief Mayawati, who had been livid with the defection and biding her time, said she wants to "teach the Ashok Gehlot government a lesson".
A stay on the merger would have meant that the six MLAs would not be allowed to vote in the assembly. Mr Gehlot would have had a tough fight on his hands in the event of a trust vote.