By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 21: The nine rebel Congress MLAs who had recently joined the BJP were on Monday disqualified as members of the State Assembly.
Announcing the Speaker's decision, Assembly Principal Secretary Prab Kumar Das said after hearing both sides, the Speaker today decided to disqualify them from the House membership with immediate effect.
The nine MLAs are: Jayanta Mallah Baruah, Pijush Hazarika, Pallab Lochan Das, Pradan Barua, Abu Taher Bepari, Kripath Mallah, Rajen Borthakur, Binda Kumar Saikia and Bolin Chetia.
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee had already expelled these MLAs from the party in November.
On December 1, Congress' chief whip Nilamanisen Deka had filed a complaint with the Speaker seeking disqualification of the legislators.
The Speaker had then issued notices to all the nine leaders giving them one week's time to reply. The MLAs had sought additiol time to respond and accordingly the time given to them was extended by another week.
The Speaker then called a hearing on December 19 during which arguments from both sides were recorded.
Abu Taher Bepari, one of the disqualified legislators, said they were "prepared" for the decision as they knew it was coming.