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MLA hearing on May 2

Bhubaneswar, April 22: Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat today fixed May 2 as the next date of hearing on the issue of the merger of four Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs with the BJD.

Except Prasanta Nanda, the other MLAs — Amar Prasad Satpathy Ramchandra Hansdah and Nabin Nanda — were present at today’s hearing. NCP was represented by its state unit president Utkal Keshari Parida.

Amat said: “The MLAs’ advocate has submitted a counter-affidavit. I have asked other parties to submit necessary documents.”

The four legislators had left the NCP to join the BJD on June 5 last year. Odisha NCP president Parida filed an application before the Assembly Speaker on July 6, 2012, for disqualification of the four MLAs from the Assembly. Subsequently, Parida had filed petitions in the high court in August 2012 accusing the Speaker of inaction.

Initially, the Speaker pleaded that Parida had no say because he was not an MLA. Parida had approached the high court, which ruled that anyone could move the Speaker’s office. The Speaker then had gone to the Supreme Court that upheld the high court order and a review petition was rejected.

The case will come up for hearing on April 24.