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Controversy over Parl Secretaries
Dimapur, Jan.8(NPN):
Published on 9 Jan. 2009 1:57 AM IST
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Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s appointment of six Parliamentary Secretaries has drawn criticism from various corners, reports UNI from Aizawl. The report said Mizo critics view the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries as a clear violation of the Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003 {Art. 164 (1A)} which says that the total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a state shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of members of the state Legislative Assembly of that State. In the case of small states like Mizoram, the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister shall not be less than twelve. The Parliamentary Secretaries are to help Ministers while enjoying the same rank and perks of Ministers of State. Tarun Gogoi in Assam has eight Parliamentary Secretaries while Rio Neiphui of Nagaland has not less than 15. Dr Donkupar Roy of Meghalaya has six Parliamentary Secretaries and Lal Thanhawla in Mizoram has recently appointed six Parliamentary Secretaries. A public interest litigation challenging the legality of these appointments has been filed in Nagaland. Further UNI said there were many prominent people across the North East region who share the same cynicism on the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries which they perceive as nothing but political maneuvers of the respective Chief Ministers to entrench themselves more deeply in their positions. In Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla leads the Congress with 32 seats in a 40-seat Assembly and has no cause to fear for his government being pulled down. The fact of the matter is that all attempts to reform the political system are foiled by the politicians themselves. If they can find a way to override a Rule or Act, they would not hesitate to do so as can be clearly seen in the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries by Chief Ministers which is a clear violation of 91st Amendment Act 2003. In Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla’s move in appointing six Parliamentary Secretaries has been enough to cause doubts in the people whether the change promised by him before the elections would become a reality, observes a senior journalist. The dismay has been caused especially by Lal Thanhawla delegating his brother, Lal Thanzara, one of the newly appointed Parliamentary Secretaries, the task of helping the Chief Minister.

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