Mumbai, Mar 14 (PTI) The Congress and NCP in the Legislative Council today questionned the Constitutionality of membership of some law-makers, including incumbent ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis government, who do not belong to the BJP but “represent the party in the Upper House”.
Shiv Sena’s Anil Parab has already questionned the BJP over fielding of Congress turncoat and Maharashtra Swabhiman Party (MSP) president Narayan Rane as one of its nominees for the March 23 Rajya Sabha elections.
Soon after Question Hour, Jayant Patil (PWP-I) wanted to know from the Chairman as to whether a president or a general secretary of any registered political party can contest elections on the symbol of any other political party.
He mentioned that ministers Sadabhau Khot and Mahadev Jankar, and Vinayak Mete have registered their respective political parties with Election Commission of India (ECI) and State Election Commission of Maharashtra (SECM).
Patil said Khot, Jankar, and Mete cannot continue to be the members of the legislature as they are representing another political party (the BJP) and not their own.
Making an intervention, School Education Minister Vinod Tawde said MLC Kapil Patil though supports Sharad Yadav, is a member of the JD(U) headed by Nitish Kumar.
Saying that a Constitutional gridlock has arisen, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde said Khot, Mete and Jankar are representing the BJP in the Upper House.
Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar said he would first speak to the legislature secretariat, seek information from the ECI officials in the state secretariat, take legal opinion from the Advocate General of Maharashtra before replying in the Council.
Meanwhile, an ECI official said article 84 (for members of parliament) and article 173 (for members of state legislature), and section 3 of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951, lay down the rules and qualifications for candidates contesting these elections.
He said a candidate could resign from his party post and can contest on the symbol of any other party, other than his own party, and there is no ban on candidates doing so.
The official pointed out that Rane’s MSP is not yet registered with the poll panel.
While Khot, Minister of State for Agriculture, was a member of Swabhimani Paksha before his expulsion, Mahadev Jankar who is Animal Husbandry Minister heads Rashtriya Samaj Paksha. Mete is a member of the Shiv Sangram Party.
Khot floated Rayat Kranti Sanghtana after his expulsion from SS.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.