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Rediff News  All News  » News » Raje govt in a fix over member's dual role as MP, MLA

Raje govt in a fix over member's dual role as MP, MLA

July 18, 2014 21:44 IST

The Rajasthan assembly is facing a peculiar problem. The monsoon session has been witnessing ruckus almost everyday due to the presence of Sanwar Lal Jat, a cabinet minister in the Vasundhara Raje government. Incidentally, Jat is also a Member of Parliament, who defeated Congress state president Sachin Pilot in the 15th Lok Sabha polls.  

According to opposition leaders Sanwar Lal Jat should be attending Parliament instead of the Rajasthan assembly.

Before winning the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat, Jat had been a legislator from Nasirabad constituency of Ajmer. When Chief Minister Raje formed her government, she included Jat in the cabinet, making him Public Health Engineering Department minister.

The BJP MLA resigned from the Rajasthan assembly when he became a parliamentarian. But even after resigning, Jat has been attending the assembly as a member in Raje’s cabinet.

The opposition has been raising the issue but the assembly speaker has refused to take it up. The assembly was adjourned on Thursday on this issue.

The Congress, National People's Party and independent MLAs say that the constitutionally permissible six month time period to be minister without being assembly member ended for Jat on June 20. His presence in the house is a violation of the Constitution, they say.

Speaker Kailash Meghwal turned down Congress’s objection saying that Jat became a non-member of the assembly only from May 29 when he resigned after his election as Lok Sabha MP.

But there is a bigger constitutional crisis looming for the Raje government.

“Raje has only 12 cabinet ministers, the minimum number, and if Jat does not remain minister, then her government will face a constitutional crisis in the ongoing session. Jat is aware of this and is participating as minister in the Rajasthan government while being a Member of Parliament,” Political analyst Narayan Bareth said.

Shahnawaz Akhtar in Jaipur