Defector MLAs concocted story of oral merger: HJC

The Haryana Janhit Party (HJC) Wednesday urged the court of Speaker Kuldeep Sharma to hold five of its MLAs, who defected to the Congress, guilty of perjury. The party was presenting its final arguments in the case pertaining to the defection of Satpal Sangwan, Vinod Bhyana, Rao Narender Singh, Dharam Pal Chhoker and Zile Ram Sharma to the Congress.

All the five were elected on the HJC ticket in 2009 Assembly elections, but within months joined the Congress. While Sangwan and Rao Narender were made cabinet ministers in the Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Bhyana and Sharma were appointed as Chief Parliamentary Secretaries. Sharma later had to resign after his name figured in the murder case of a Karnal sarpanch.

The HJC chief, Kuldeep Bishnoi, had demanded their disqualification from the Assembly as their crossing over to the Congress was violative of the Anti Defection Act. The Supreme Court too had stayed an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that declared these MLAs unattached and restrained them from holding any public office.

Counsel for HJC, Satya Pal Jain, who presented the final arguments in the case said that these five had "concocted the story of the merger as an afterthought" and were hence liable to be held guilty of perjury also. He said the MLAs' argument that if two-third of the party decides to merge with another party then the merger would be held valid was hollow as it was not the only condition of the merger.

"Moreover, there is no documentary even in the form of a news clipping of the so called party meeting held on November 8, 2009 at Karnal by these legislators. They decided to join the Congress on November 8 and the same was reported as such and there was no mention of any meeting held at Karnal. After they were caught on the wrong foot, they concocted the story and claimed that they met at Karnal and orally decided to merge the party," Jain told The Indian Express.

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