The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday dismissed the Congress’ petition seeking an order for the state Assembly speaker to decide on the disqualification of MLA Alpesh Thakor soon, PTI reported. Thakor had quit all posts in the party on April 10 after Thakor Kshatriya Sena, the outfit founded by him, decided to withdraw its support to the Congress.
A division bench of Justices SR Brahmbhatt and AP Thaker dismissed the plea as it decided to not interfere in a matter pending before Speaker Rajendra Trivedi.
Congress chief whip in the Assembly Ashwin Kotwal had filed the petition last month in the High Court. The court had sent a notice to Thakor on June 24. Thakor opposed the disqualification as he had quit only party posts and not as a member of the Congress.
Arguing for the Speaker, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi told the court that it cannot force a decision within three days. The Speaker said the question of disqualification does not arise as Thakor had been neither convicted by any court nor had he resigned from the primary membership of his party.
“When Alpesh gave his resignation, he had stated in his letter that he will be resigning from all posts held by him as a Congress member,” The Indian Express earlier quoted Kotwal as saying. “He was elected as an MLA from Radhanpur when he was a Congress member. We notified the Speaker of the same so that [Speaker] Rajendra Trivedi serves him an appropriate notice and thereby disqualify him, but that has not been done yet, despite repeated representations. We have thus moved the Gujarat HC.”
The party had demanded that Thakor should not be allowed to exercise his rights as a legislator until the Speaker takes a final decision.
On April 25, leaders of the Congress party in Gujarat had approached Trivedi seeking Thakor’s expulsion, claiming that he was no longer with the party and was involved in “anti-party activities”.
Thakor was the Congress’ secretary in charge of Bihar and was a member of party committees for the Lok Sabha polls. He was a prominent leader from Other Backward Classes and was elected from Radhanpur on a Congress ticket in 2017 Assembly polls.
Thakor had quit the party alleging that he had been “betrayed by the leadership” and hence resigned from all posts, except his membership of the Assembly.