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Posted at: May 22, 2019, 7:08 AM; last updated: May 22, 2019, 9:55 AM (IST)

Fate of five AAP MLAs hangs in the balance

Speaker to first inquire into genuineness of resignations
Fate of five AAP MLAs hangs in the balance

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21

While the state stares at the possibility of several bypolls within six months after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are out on Thursday, the fate of the membership of five AAP MLAs hangs in the balance with the Speaker deciding to inquire if the MLAs were forced or allured to resign and join other parties or form new groups.

Two of the four MLAs — Sukhpal Khaira from Bholath and Nazar Singh Manshahia from Mansa — have sought more time from the Speaker to present their case. They were called today to appear before the Speaker on the subject of their resignation but they sought a fresh date for the meeting. Under the rules, a MLA has to resign in person before the Speaker.

Also, while speculation is rife about imminent bypolls, the decision on the resignation of these five AAP MLAs — Sukhpal Khaira (Bholath), Nazar Singh Manshahia (Mansa), Master Baldev Singh (Jaito), Amarjit Sandoa (Ropar) and HS Phoolka (Dakha) — may not be taken immediately.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh told The Tribune that it would take time. “The resignation by a MLA is a serious and sensitive matter due to which it has to be dealt with caution and takes time. The MLAs have to first of all resign as per the prescribed format. Further, we have to inquire that those who have joined other groups or formed a new party did so due to pressure or allurement by someone. This is the laid-down procedure,” he said.

Further, two MLAs — Khaira and Phoolka — have not tendered their resignation in the prescribed format of two lines.

The case of these five AAP MLAs has to be handled separately from six other MLAs, who have contested the Lok Sabha elections. The decision regarding these six MLAs, namely Sukhbir Badal (SAD, Jalalabad), Parminder Dhindsa (SAD, Lehra), Raja Warring (Congress, Gidderbaha), Som Prakash (BJP, Phagwara), Baljinder Kaur (AAP, Talwandi Sabo) and Dr Raj Kumar (Congress, Chhabewal), would depend on the election results, said officials in the Speaker’s office.

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