Ranchi, Feb 20 (PTI) Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon Wednesday said he found the merger of six JVM MLAs with the BJP four years ago legal, while rejecting the petition of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) demanding their disqualification under the 10th Schedule.

The ruling came after JVM president Babulal Marandi and the partys Legislative Party leader Pradip Yadav filed the petition with the speaker saying these MLAs had fought the 2014 assembly elections on JVM tickets and attracted disqualification from the House under the 10th schedule.

Prima facie, on February 10, 2015, it was found that the merger by the six MLAs with the BJP was legal and they were allowed to sit with the (ruling) BJP, a senior official with the state Assembly Secretariat told PTI quoting the speakers ruling.

After the subsequent hearing on the petition, the speaker said he went through all the legal points and found that their merger with the BJP was as per the law.

The six MLAs are; Amar Kumar Bauri (Land & Revenue Minister), Randhir Kumar Singh (Agriculture Minister), Naveen Jaiswal, Ganesh Ganju, Janki Yadav and Alok Kumar Chourasia.

Along with their supporters, the six JVM legislators had joined the BJP on February 11, 2015 and sought from the speaker to allot them separate seats with the ruling party in the House as they merged with the BJP along with 2/3rd of the JVM party members.

Marandi, who headed the BJP-led NDA after Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar on November 15, 2000, later quit the BJP and floated JVM.

The state saw rise and fall of nine governments in quick succession before the tenth government was formed under Chief Minister Raghubar Das on December 28, 2014, becoming the first government to complete more than four years in office.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.