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Naidu: Speed up disqualifications to stop defections

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has said presiding officers should decide issues of disqualification of legislators within three months, arguing that quick disposal of cases would discourage the “evil of political defections”.

In his 35-page order disqualifying JD(U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari from Rajya Sabha on Monday, Naidu said, “I am of the considered opinion that such petitions (seeking disqualifications) which go to the root of democratic functioning and which raise the question whether a particular legislator is entitled to sit in the legislature or not, should not be kept pending and dragged on by the presiding officer with a view to save the membership of the persons who have otherwise incurred disqualification, or even to save the government which enjoys majority only because of such type of persons.”

Yadav and Ansari were disqualified after JD(U) petitioned the Rajya Sabha that they had “voluntarily given up party membership”. The duo split from Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar after the latter quit the alliance with RJD-Congress and joined hands with BJP.

Naidu clarified that he did not refer the disqualification petitions to the committee on privileges because the panel took a long time in conducting the inquiry which delayed the final decision which is taken by the chair.

He said the delays “subvert the essence of the anti-defection law”, calling them “against the very spirit and objects of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India relating to defections”.

While disqualifying Yadav and Ansari, Naidu pointed out that the Election Commission had recognised JD (U) led by Nitish as the rightful claimant to the election symbol of ‘arrow’.

Naidu ruled that any legislator would attract disqualification if he publicly criticises the decision of his own party and went to the extent of addressing rallies of rival political parties.

Source : timesofindia

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Naidu: Speed up disqualifications to stop defections


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