Lok Sabha secretariat on Thursday evening issued notices to two Trinamool Congress members & a rebel YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) member under the anti-defection law after their respective parties sought their removal from the House, people familiar with the matter said.
Sisir Adhikari, senior TMC MP & father of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, and Sunil Kumar Mondal, Trinamool’s two-term MP, have been served notice months after the party filed a complaint under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution for anti-party activities.
K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, who has taken on Andhra Pradesh chief minister & party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, has also been issued notice.
According to the Lok Sabha secretariat, the three members of Parliament (MPs) have been told to send their reply within 15 days of receiving the notice.
People familiar with the matter said while TMC leaders filed for disqualification of the two MPs a few months ago but now, ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, the process of evaluating the alleged anti-defection cases has started.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, leader of the Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, sought Sunil Kumar Mondal’s disqualification, on January 4 this year. The request to remove Sisir Adhikari was sent on May 17.
CM Mamata Banerjee, who is yet to become a member of the Bengal assembly, has challenged Adhikari’s victory in the Calcutta high court. Her party on Thursday petitioned the Election Commission to hold early bypolls to enable her to contest.
Sunil Mondal, TMC Lok Sabha member from the East Burdwan seat, joined the BJP in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah in December last year.
Sisir Adhikari, the MP from Contai in the East Midnapore district, did not formally pick up the BJP flag but shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election campaign.
Section 2A of the Constitution’s Tenth Schedule provides for disqualification of MPs and MLAs “if he (a lawmaker) has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party.” Legal experts pointed out that this is being used by the Trinamool as it wants to argue that the two MPs campaigned for the BJP and therefore, they have voluntarily given up their membership.”
Neither of the two lawmakers has formally quit the Trinamool, which won Bengal once again, but their acts triggered a long-drawn tussle between the BJP and the Trinamool.
In June, the TMC twice approached Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to take a call on the disqualification petitions. After his second request on June 14, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay, leader of the Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, told to media House that the speaker assured him that a committee to review the petitions for disqualification would be set up soon.
TMC’s hard push to force the two MPs out of the Lok Sabha coincides with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s efforts to seek disqualification of Mukul Roy, who won the Krishnanagar North assembly seat, on a BJP ticket in May and joined the TMC on June 11.