NO TAINTED LEADER IN BJP
The Central Government under Modi has plans afoot to shield tainted MPS and MLAS. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the government has asserted that no MP or MLA should be disqualified from the membership of House if he or she has been convicted by a court in a criminal case. It also favours that a convicted politician be given a chnace to appeal against conviction.
On 10 July 2013, the Supreme Court, in its judgment of the Lily Thomas v. Union of India case, ruled that any member of Parliament, assembly or a legislative council, who is convicted of a crime and awarded a minimum of two year’s imprisonment, shall lose membership of the House with immediate effect.
In an attempt to overturn this decision, the Representation of the People’s ( Second Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the then law minister Kapil Sibal. On 24 September, a few days before the fodder scam verdict, the government tried to bring an ordinance. However, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president tore the copy of the proposed bill declaring it ‘complete nonsense’ at Press Club of India in Delhi.
The same BJP had then derided the government of being totally confused and demanded resignation of PM Manmohan Singh. Since then, of the nine politicians who lost their membership only one belonged to Congress while BJP lost two MLAS – one each in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
BJP, which enjoys power at the Centre and is ruling in 18 states seems apprehensive that sooner or later many of its sitting MPS and MLAS may face criminal charges in various courts. So, it seems eager to provide them legal protection to save their membership. The Union law ministry has reminded the apex court that disqualification of a sitting member is a policy matter and court has no right to interfere in it.
Or maybe, BJP presumes that all the tainted politicians belong to other parties and it has only milkbathed leaders. That is perhaps why the former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa was recently given clean chit on all charges filed against him.