CHANDIGARH: Haryana Speaker Kunwar Pal Gujar on Tuesday removed Abhay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) from the post of Leader of Opposition as the party is now left with just eleven legislators in the 90-member state assembly.
Chautala had sent his resignation as Leader of Opposition to the speaker two days ago. In his letter, he had also sought the disqualification of INLD MLAs who have switched parties.
It is learnt that there will be an inquiry into the status of MLAs who have moved to another party. Following the inquiry, they are likely to be served a notice after which they will be called for a personal hearing. Chautala will also be called to the hearing before a final call on dismissing them is taken.
The INLD won 19 seats in 2014 assembly elections, but the party’s strength is just 11 now. Four MLAs - Naina Chautala, Anoop Dhanak, Pirthi Nambardar and Randeep Phogat - have joined the newly formed Jananayak Janata Party (JJP) but have neither resigned as legislators nor has the INLD expelled them from the party.
Two other legislators have joined the saffron party recently - Kehar Singh Rawat MLA from Hathin and Ranbir Singh Gangwa from Nalwa. The party has also been hit by the deaths of Jind MLA Hari Chand Middha and Pehowa MLA Jaswinder Singh Sandhu. The BJP won the bypoll in Jind after Middha’s death.
On the other hand, the Congress won 15 seats in 2014, but its strength in the assembly has increased to 17 after Kuldeep Bishnoi merged his HJC with the party and he as well as his wife Renuka Bishnoi, MLA from Hansi, joined the party. Thus it has become the second largest party in the state. While the ruling BJP has 48 MLAs after the recent Jind bypoll win, the SAD and BSP have one legislator each and five are Independents.