Four days after high intensity drama outside the Puducherry Assembly, the newly nominated BJP MLAs from the union territory met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday. They have complained against Puducherry Chief Minister Narayanaswamy and Speaker Vaithilingam for refusing them entry into the Assembly despite the Madras High Court maintaining that their nominations were valid.
Speaking to TNM shortly after their meeting with the Union Minister, BJP MLA Saminathan says, "This is a clear case of political vendetta. Rajnath Singh has agreed that the Madras High court's orders should have been followed. He has assured us that action will be taken as per law. Everyone knows that what the Congress government is doing is wrong. "
On March 22, the Madras High Court upheld the appointment of three MLAs to the union territory's Assembly by Lt Governor Kiran Bedi. The nominations had created a controversy as two of the MLAs were from the BJP while one was a pro-BJP educationist. Despite this, they were not allowed into the Assembly. Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam said that there was no change in his decision to not recognise the nominations of V Saminathan, KG Shankar and Selvaganapathy.
"The Governor has done whatever is within her power and nominated us to the post. We can't expect her to help us any further. She wants to safeguard our interests but the ruling party is not allowing this," alleges MLA Selvaganapathy. Kiran Bedi, who had addressed the Assembly session, had not stopped to enquire about the protests outside the venue.
"We went to the Home Minister because Puducherry is a union territory. This is a clear case of political vindictiveness," claims MLA Saminathan. "The Speaker does not have the power to disqualify us or decide not to approve our nomination," he adds.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sundar J had said in court on March 22 that, "Section 46(2) of the UT Act provides that all executive action of the Administrator, whether taken on the advice of his Ministers or otherwise, shall be expressed in the name of the Administrator. The use of the expression ‘or otherwise’ in Section 46(2) of the UT Act makes it amply clear that the Administrator has independent powers to act and is not bound to act only on the advice of his Ministers."
The MLAs have already filed a contempt of court petition and the case will be coming up for hearing on Monday. In addition to this, they are going to approach the Supreme Court over their denial of entry into the Assembly.