Uttarakhand crisis: Venkaiah Naidu seeks revisiting of Speaker's role

New Delhi: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday sought revisiting of the role of the Speaker while testing the majority of a government and implementing provisions of anti-defection law as the Congress won the high-stakes trial of strength in the Uttarakhand Assembly.

"In the backdrop of what has happened in Uttarakhand, we have to revisit the Speaker's role vis-a-vis the issue of testing of majority and also in the implementation of anti- defection law," Naidu, the Union Parliamentary Affairs minister said.

"I want the debate to take place in this country," he said, adding that there has to be a time limit set for deciding on cases of anti-defection law.

File Image of Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

File Image of Venkaiah Naidu. PTI

The senior BJP leader also suggested that all public representatives once deciding to quit their party and join another should resign forthwith and may seek a fresh mandate.

The Minister said, "Any people's representative, be it an MLA or MP, if he changes his party and switches over his loyalty, he should forthwith resign as per the spirit of the Constitution and recontest."

He said if a public representative switches his loyalty to join another party "he should be disqualified immediately."

Incidentally, a number of Telugu Desam MLAs have joined TRS in Telangana and those of YSR (Cong) joining Telugu Desam party in Andhra Pradesh, not evoking any action under the anti-defection law.

Asked about the role of the Uttarakhand Speaker in disqualifying the nine rebel Congress MLAs, Naidu asked what remedy was there if the Speaker of an assembly acts "wrongly" and not in conformity with the laid Constitutional provisions.

"What alternative do you have. We have to revisit that and then take a call," he said.

Responding to a question on the implications of the Harish Rawat government winning the floor test in voting on Tuesday, the Minister said the Central government had done nothing wrong in imposing President's Rule in Uttarakhand after the breakdown of the Constitution in the state.

The Congress on Tuesday won the high-stakes trial of strength in the Uttarakhand Assembly, in a clear setback to the Modi government which had dismissed the state government and imposed President's Rule on 28 March.

The floor test which was the culmination of a number of twists and turns in the political drama marked by court battles.

The result of Tuesday's floor test is expected to be formally announced on Wednesday after a video recording of the 90-minute proceedings of the Assembly is presented in Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.

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Updated Date: May 11, 2016 09:54:40 IST

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