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SC to hear today pleas on merger of six BSP MLAs with Congress

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would on Tuesday hear the petitions filed on the issue relating to merger of six BSP MLAs with the Congress in Rajasthan last year.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by a BJP MLA who has challenged the Rajasthan High Court order which had refused to stay the functioning as Congress legislators of six BSP MLAs who after election to the assembly merged with the ruling party in the state.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that appeal filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar would be heard along with a separate plea filed by the six MLAs.

In their plea, these six MLAs have requested the apex court to transfer to itself Dilawar's plea pending in the high court seeking their disqualification for allegedly violating the party whip.

Dilawar has challenged in the apex court the August 6 order of a division bench of high court which had disposed of his plea against the order of a single judge, who had refused to stay the functioning of these six MLAs as Congress legislators.

During the hearing conducted on Monday through video-conferencing, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Dilawar, told the apex court that in September last year the Assembly Speaker had passed an order accepting the merger.

He said that BSP has said that they have not merged.

While saying that the issue is pending before a single judge of the high court, he also referred to the plea filed by the six MLAs in the apex court.

The bench said it would hear both the matters on Tuesday.

The single judge of high court had earlier not granted any interim relief and refused to put a stay on the participation of six MLAs in the proceedings of the House as Congress legislators.

Sandeep Yadav, Wajib Ali, Deepchand Kheria, Lakhan Meena, Jogendra Awana and Rajendra Gudha contested and won the 2018 assembly election on a BSP ticket but they defected to Congress in September 2019.

They had submitted an application for the merger on September 16 last year and the Speaker allowed their induction into the Congress two days later.

The merger was a boost to the Ashok Gehlot-led government as the tally of the Congress increased to 107 in the house of 200.

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