NEW DELHI: While the Opposition parties cried hoarse over the sudden swearing-in of the Devendra Fadnavis government with support from NCP’s Ajit Pawar, legal and constitutional experts mulled that this alliance is valid as long as there is no split within the NCP.
In the present circumstances, the anti-defection law’s Paragraph 2 (1) comes into play, according to which a member of a legislature belonging to a particular political party can be disqualified from the membership of the House if he/she voluntarily give up membership of the party or vote/abstain from voting in the House against the party line.
If at least 1/3rd of a party decides to split, then those who have split away cannot be disqualified under Paragraph 2 (1) of the law. If 2/3rd of the party lawmakers agrees to merge with a different party, again, they cannot be disqualified under Paragraph 2 (1).
Explaining whether the law will be applicable in this case, constitutional expert PDT Achary said, “The anti-defection law here will only come into place when Ajit Pawar breaks away from the NCP. The biggest challenge for the present government is to portrait NCP as one party and not divided; only then the anti-defection law can’t be applied.”
Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap said, “Under the anti-defection law, a member may be disqualified if he/she voluntarily gives up the membership of the party.”
However, there is an exception in this law which provides that a member may not be disqualified if there is a merger between two parties and 2/3rd members of a legislature party agree to it. For Ajit Pawar to avoid disqualification, he has to prove the support of 2/3rd of NCP MLAs.