The merger of 12 Congress MLAs in Telangana with the TRS and the merger of four TDP Rajya Sabha members with the BJP are "illegal" as they violate the law, said former Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Acharya.
In an interview to Karan Thapar, Acharya said: "Yes, the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs in Telangana with the TRS and the merger of the four TDP Rajya Sabha MPs with the BJP are illegal as they are not in accordance with the law."
He said the so-called mergers were "certainly illegal" and not in accordance with the 10th schedule of the Constitution. He said that for a merger, a party has to merge with another political party and its MLAs or MPs have to agree to the merger.
"But in these two cases the original parties have not merged while their legislators and the MPs have merged," he said.
He said if the two original parties do not merge, then there is no merger.
Acharya said that under law, a person who defects to another party is saved from disqualification if he claims that his original party has merged with another party and that two-third of the members of the party and the legislator have agreed to the merger.
"So these are the two conditions," he said. "...the merger has to take place first."
If the two parties do not merge, then there is no merger, Acharya replied. "There is no merger in the eye of law."
The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) has already moved the Telangana High Court with a plea to suspend the merger notice issued by the Speaker â€ŽP Srinivas Reddy.
In the plea, the TPCC sought the merger to be deemed illegal and contrary to the Anti-Defection Law under the Tenth Schedule and a violation of Article 324 of the Constitution on India.
In their petition, the Congress contended that merging the legislature party of one political party with that of another political party was the statutory duty of the Election Commission of India under the Representation of the People Act.