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MPA to seek action against two MLAs
Correspondent/Agencies SHILLONG, MAR 10:
Published on 11 Mar. 2009 12:58 AM IST
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Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government is preparing to file complaints against the two independent MLAs, Ismail R Marak and Limison D Sangma with Assembly Speaker Bindo M Lanong seeking their disqualification under the anti-defection law. Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy said, the MPA was working on the petitions and would file it soon, seeking the two independent legislators’ disqualification. Both Marak and Sangma withdrew support to the one-year-old NCP-backed MPA government and joined the opposition Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA). “I will examine into the complaint and accordingly issue a show-cause notice before taking any action against them,” Lanong said. “The Anti-Defection Law is a broad law and independent legislators also fall under the ambit of this law as they cannot act as per their whims and fancies,” Lanong said after a meeting with state Advocate General GS Massar late last night. Lanong, in reply to a question, said whatever action he would take would be as per law. “The two independent legislators are playing havoc with the political and democratic system and they need to be penalized. They are playing with the future of the state and they should be made answerable for this irresponsible act,” he said. “It is highly questionable how the two letters of withdrawal of support to the MPA submitted by the two independent legislators are identically worded,” the Speaker said. Marak was an associate member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), so the party would file a petition against him seeking his disqualification under the anti-defection law. Sangma had joined MPA last week and was a Parliamentary Secretary in the MPA government. In his case the MPA coalition government would file the petitions against him. The MPA is also consulting state Advocate General GS Massar whether a law could be enacted to discourage legislators to switch sides frequently. Meanwhile, the Congress party gearing up for a fight said, the two independent legislators would have to approach the Supreme Court in case they are disqualified. The legislators have joined the opposition Congress, whose strength has now swelled from 27 to 29. Technically speaking, the Congress now needs just one legislator to topple the MPA government. In the 60-member assembly, the MPA now has the support of 31 legislators - NCP (15), United Democratic Party (10), and six legislators from smaller regional parties, including one from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and two other independents. The chances of survival of the fragile coalition look bleak.

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