Patna: The Nitish Kumar faction of the Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday welcomed Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal's decision a day earlier to disqualify 18 MLAs owing allegiance to AIADMK faction leader T.T.V. Dinakaran.
"The JD(U) welcomes the Speaker`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.
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 JDU 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 RCP 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 Nitish Kumar decided to break away from the Grand Alliance of JD(U), Congress and the RJD and go along with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form a new government in the state in July.