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Convicted BJP MLA to lose House membership

LUCKNOW: With the Uttar Pradesh Assembly secretariat having shown alacrity in initiating proceedings to announce Rampur MLA Azam Khan’s seat vacant following his disqualification due to conviction in a hate speech case, the ruling BJP is in for a similar jolt, with its Khatuali MLA Vikram Saini facing the same fate. Saini has been being convicted and sentenced to a two-year jail term in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.

As per sources, Saini has lost his Assembly membership. However, an official notification about his seat being declared vacant as a consequence of his automatic disqualification from the House following his conviction on October 11 is yet to come.

UP Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna had cited the Supreme Court order of 2013 on Friday, saying that just like Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, Saini also stood disqualified from the House from the day the sentence was pronounced. The notification declaring the Khatauli seat vacant by the Vidhan Sabha secretariat would be issued soon, Khanna had said.

According to sources, the Vidhan Sabha secretariat has sought clarification from the state law department over the quantum of sentence — if a ‘two-year’, or ‘more than two-year’ sentence leads to automatic disqualification of an MP or MLA in consonance with 2013 Supreme Court order.

The controversy over the issue erupted after Azam’s disqualification, when Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary wrote a letter to Vidhan Sabha speaker Satish Mahana recently, alleging bias and questioning the delay in announcing Saini’s disqualification from the House.