New Delhi, Jun 20: The changed political equations between BJP and JD(U) today played out in the open in a Parliamentary panel when the main opposition demanded an early decision on disqualification of three MPs of its erstwhileally.
The agenda regarding the JD(U) petition to disqualify three of its Lok Sabha MPs - Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan', Sushil Singh and Mangni Lal Mandal - is pending for months with the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha.
During today's meeting, panel chief P C Chacko informed members that the petitioner JD(U) Deputy Leader in the lower house Ranjan Prasad Yadav has sought more time on going ahead with the plea to disqualify the members under Schedule X of Disqualification Act.
BJP members Shahnawaz Hussain and Ananth Kumar expressed displeasure over the failure of JD(U) to make up its mind on the issue. They told Chacko that Yadav be asked to appear before the panel and inform whether his party wants to press for the disqualification, sources said.
They said due to the continuous postponement of agenda, the fate of the three “poor” MPs was hanging in the balance and there is no “forward movement” on the issue. Some members claimed that BJP pressed for moving ahead with the issue based on documents despite Yadav seeking more
time to appear before the panel.
But BJP members insisted that they did not press for going ahead and had only demanded calling Yadav to “take forward” the issue.
Some members of the committee took a dig at BJP members for raising the issue after JD(U) parted ways with it last week.
BJD member in the committee, B Mahtab read out the rules to BJP members which state that the petitioner should be given “affordable time” to present his case. He told BJP members not to press for an early decision.
Chacko accepted Yadav's plea for more time and postponed the matter.
JD(U) had suspended ‘Lalan', Sushil Singh and Mangni Lal Mandal last year for anti-party activities.
Party chief Sharad Yadav, parliamentary party leader Ram Sundar Das and deputy leader Ranjan Prasad Yadav had met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar with proof of their anti-party activities and strongly pleaded for termination of their membership.
Sources said ‘Lalan' actively campaigned for Congress candidates during the election, while Mandal was caught on tape asking party workers to ensure the defeat of JD(U) candidate from Jhanjharpur.
The Privileges Committee also grilled a Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat for allegedly stopping Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh from attending Parliament a couple of years ago.
SP leaders have alleged that as police had erected barricades outside their Lucknow home, they could not move out, thus preventing them from attending Parliament proceedings.
The incident took place on March 7, 2011 when BSP leader Mayawati was the Chief Minister. Akhilesh was then a Lok Sabha member.
Then Lucknow District Magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar was grilled by the panel for nearly two hours on the incident.
Sagar said the barricades were erected to maintain law and order situation. He also said when Mulayam told him that he wanted to attend Parliament session, he was escorted to the airport.
He maintained that there was no wrongdoing on part of the district administration, the sources said.
Mulayam had moved privilege notice on March 8, 2011 against the DM and DIG, Lucknow Range for “forcibly detaining” him and Akhilesh by “erecting barricades and deploying large police force outside his residence at Lucknow”.
Sagar, along with then Lucknow DIG D K Thakur have been called again by the committee next month.
The committee, however, could not take a final decision on Congress MP Meenakshi Natarajan's complaint against BJP chief and Lok Sabha member Rajnath Singh.
Natarajan has accused Singh of levelling “false, baseless and mendacious” allegations against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi that land was forcibly acquired from farmers of Haryana for Rajiv Gandhi Trust.
The issue was part of the agenda but could not be taken up due to paucity of time.
The matter was referred to the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha last year.
During previous meetings on the issue, BJP and Congress members clashed apparently over calling of Singh before the panel.