Ranchi: came under attack from the opposition parties on Wednesday after Dinesh Oraon rejected the petition seeking disqualification of six MLAs to BJP in 2014 and validated the merger of the Babulal Marandi-led party with BJP.
JVM-P chief Babulal Marandi and party general secretary Pradeep Yadav had challenged the defection of six of their MLAs on February 9, 2015, through a formal written complaint at speaker’s court. They demanded the cancellation of their assembly memberships.

BJP president Laxman Gilua hailed the verdict as “historic”. “We will soon make a formal demand before the Election Commission, demanding cancellation of JVM-P’s election symbol (comb) as the party doesn’t exist any more,” he said over phone.

However, both and dubbed Oraon’s verdict as “a mockery of democracy and its processes” and stated that it justifies horse-trading and opportunistic politics.

Congress president Ajoy Kumar said, “The verdict clearly exposes how the speaker, who is supposed to be the neutral judge, worked in favour of the ruling party.” Congress spokesperson Kishore Nath Shahdeo further questioned how a speaker can justify JVM-P’s merger with BJP when JVM-P’s two recognised MLAs are still in the assembly. “They have an earmarked seat as leaders in the opposition. How can the party be called merged?” he questioned.

JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharjee, however, said that the verdict won’t stand if challenged before the Jharkhand high court. “There were similar precedents in the past of cases concerning Haryana and Tamil Nadu where the high courts turned down such rulings by speakers. We hope that JVM-P will challenge Oraon’s verdict at the HC,” he said.

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