Assembly Speaker directs Congress defectors to reply within a week to petition seeking their disqualification
Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on December 1 decided to give a week’s time to former chief minister Mukul Sangma and 9 other MLAs to reply to the petition filed by Congress seeking their disqualification for defecting to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
In a letter to the MLAs, Assembly’s Commissioner and Secretary Andrew Simons said, “After careful examination of the petition, Speaker has directed that a copy of the petition may be forwarded to you for obtaining your comments to the charges, as required under Rule 7(3)(b), with a request that your reply to the charges may kind be furnished to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Secretariat within seven days of the receipt of this letter.”
This came after a petition was filed by Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ampareen Lyngdoh on November 29.
She, through the petition, had requested the Speaker to consider disqualification of all the 12 MLAs as required under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India read with the provisions of Rule 6 of the Members of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1988.
Welcoming the Speaker’s decision, Ampareen said, “This is important for us that the office of the Speaker has acted promptly on my petition.”
She added, “The process will move forward in accordance with law and I am confident that I have justifiable grounds to seek the disqualification of the membership of Dr Mukul Sangma and the others.”
Refraining from commenting any further on the matter, Lyngdoh said that “ we (the party) will open this discussion when the moment is right.
“The Speaker was pleased to provide only 7 days’ notice for the respective MLAs to respond, in other words, it is some sort of a showcause notice…This is a significant moment for our party,” the CLP leader added.
Ampareen further informed that she had lodged a complaint against all the MLAs barring two – Charles Pyngrope and Shitlang Pale.
“In a day or two, I will also be submitting a petition of complaint against them as well,” she said while asserting, “In this effort, I also speak for the conscience of others including the right of the electorate to ensure that their elected representatives do not make a mockery of our democracy.”
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