Fresh Trouble for BJP in Madhya Pradesh as MLA Disqualified after Conviction in Assault Case

Bhopal, November 3, 2019 (Muslim Saleem): After losing to the Congress in the Jhabua Assembly bypoll, the BJP was dealt another blow on Saturday as the membership of its MLA from Pawai was revoked.
Prahlad Singh Lodhi was disqualified from the Assembly after he was sentenced to jail for two years in connection with an old case involving the assault of a tehsildar in Panna district.
Assembly Speaker NP Prajapati said the Supreme Court, in an earlier ruling, had said an MLA who has been granted a jail sentence of two or more years can lose their seat in the Assembly.
“The court order was furnished before me on Saturday and I issued orders revoking the BJP MLA’s membership to Assembly,” said Prajapati, said adding the matter has been forwarded to the Election Commission of India and has also been sent for publication in the gazette.
Prajapati said the EC has been notified of the one seat now vacant in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
The loss in the Jhabua assembly bypoll had brought down the BJP’s tally from 109 to 108 seats, which will further decline to 107.
Speaking to News18 over phone, an agitated Lodhi claimed his membership has been revoked because of the dictatorial government in the state that has refused to give him a chance to approach the High Court.
Lodhi also declined to accept the Speaker’s decision of his disqualification on the grounds that he had been granted bail after the court verdict. “I will move the High Court and, if required, I will also approach the Supreme Court,” he said.
Lodhi and 12 others were awarded a jail term in connection with an old case of assault of Tehsildar RK Verma in Panna district in 2014. The assault took place after the government officer had allegedly stopped a tractor-trolley from carrying sand that had been mined illegally. The court had, however, granted bail to the BJP MLA.
A local court recently sentenced Congress MLA from Sheopur, Babu Jandel, to jail for a year for participating in a “violent protest”. But his membership was not contested, considering that the Supreme Court’s verdict specified the term two or more years where the disqualification of MLAs is concerned.