Telangana Assembly Speaker not accepting petition against Danam Nagender: BJP

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: BJP floor leader in Telangana Assembly, A Maheshwar Reddy, claimed that Speaker G Prasad Kumar was not accepting a petition seeking disqualification of Khairatabad MLA Danam Nagender, who recently jumped ship from the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to the ruling Congress party.

He stated that if the defected MLA is not disqualified, “people will lose trust in democracy.”

Reddy said he tried to meet Prasad Kumar several times but could not as the Speaker was not going to his office.

“The Assembly staff were not accepting the representation sent by post and were returning it back. There is already a case in the High Court regarding the disqualification of Danam Nagender. If required, the party will approach the Supreme Court as well,” he remarked.

Danam Nagender recently contested from the Secunderabad Parliamentary constituency as the Congress party’s candidate in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Also Read

Telangana HC issues notice to Danam Nagender after plea challenges his poll win

What does anti-defection law say?

The anti-defection law in India, enshrined in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, has several key provisions.

Firstly, a legislator (MP or MLA) can be disqualified if they voluntarily give up membership of their political party or vote/abstain from voting in the House contrary to the directions of their political party.

Additionally, a nominated member is disqualified if they join any political party after six months of taking their seat. However, the law does allow for some exceptions. It permits a group of legislators to join (merge with) another political party without inviting disqualification, provided at least two-thirds of the party’s legislators are in favour of the merger.

Interestingly, the law does not penalize political parties for encouraging or accepting defecting legislators.

The decision-making authority on questions of disqualification on the grounds of defection lies with the Chairman or Speaker of the House. Their decision is subject to judicial review by the courts.

This aspect of the law has been criticized, as the Speaker is often seen as a partisan figure, which undermines the impartiality of the decision-making process.

The anti-defection law has faced several other criticisms as well. It has been argued that the law allows “wholesale defection” by two-thirds of a party’s legislators while prohibiting “retail defection” by individuals.

This has led to a “democracy of parties and numbers” rather than a “democracy of debate and discussion.” Reforms have been suggested to strengthen the law and make the decision-making process more impartial, in order to address these concerns and uphold the principles of a healthy democratic system.

Also Read