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Remove ‘tainted’ Kothandaraman: NGOs
SHILLONG, JUN 30:
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Published on 1 Jul. 2009 12:13 AM IST
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Three influential NGOs decided to ask Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope to remove ''tainted'' former Lok Sabha official R Kothandaraman as Assembly Principal Secretary, failing which the former threatened to launch massive agitation. According to UNI report, the NGOs, Khasi Students Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Peoples and Synjuk ki Seng Samla Shnong are expected to submit a joint memorandum to the Speaker tomorrow demanding the removal of Kothandaraman within 10 days. In fact, several MLAs, including a cabinet minister, who wish not to be named, had expressed reservation over the appointment of Kothandaraman, who is accused of anti-government activities, as Principal Secretary to the Assembly. Kothandaraman is facing an inquiry for his alleged anti-government activities on a complaint filed by the Governor of Nagaland where he was posted earlier. He was also chargesheeted for threatening the secretary general of the Lok Sabha Secretariat, PDT Achary. ''If the Speaker failed to remove within the 10 day period we would be compelled to launch a public protest,'' FKJGP General Secretary Joe Marwein said. Former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro, who is AICC secretary in-charge North East, has been instrumental in the appointment of Kothandaraman as an officer in the Assembly secretariat. In fact, Kothandaraman had been sacked by former Goa Assembly Speaker Pratap Singh Rane after being exposed in an alleged extra-marital affair with a staff member. “Meghalaya has many efficient officers who can occupy the post of Assembly Principal Secretary. KSU would welcome the appointment of a retired IAS officer from the state. There is something fishy in the appointment of Kothandaraman by the Speaker of the Assembly,” KSU activists said. Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope has appointed Kothandaraman on a two-year contract basis as Principal Secretary with a salary of Rs 75,000 per month exclusive of other benefits like transportation, travelling allowance. The Assembly Speaker had defended Kothandaraman and said, ''Unless a person is convicted, he cannot be termed as a criminal.'' He even termed Kothandaramans appointment saying that it was for efficient administration of the Meghalaya Assembly Secretariat.

 
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