SPF to move court against Manipur speaker over alleged abuse of power

Correspondent/Agencies IMPHAL, JUN 20 | Publish Date: 6/20/2020 12:45:18 PM IST

After the nascent Secular Progressive Front (SPF) was dealt a big jolt during Friday’s election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat at the hands of the Biren Singh-led coalition which was supposed to have been reduced to minority after nine MLAs withdrew support on June 17, the Congress-led SPF has cried foul after the ruling coalition managed to “steal a win”.

In a voting that was rife with turmoil and controversy, the BJP candidate-- Manipur’s titular king RK Sanajaoba defeated veteran Congress candidate T. Mangibabu 28-24 after some opposition members cross voted.

Former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh Saturday said the Congress-led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) alliance has been left with no option left but to approach court on the alleged abuse of power by the ruling BJP in the state.

Addressing media persons here on Saturday evening at his residence, Ibobi said the no-confidence motion against the government was rejected twice even as the plea for the motion for floor test has not materialised. “As per the law, if a major ally of a coalition government withdraws its support, the government becomes a minority. But allowing the present government to continue is illegal. The Governor should conduct a floor test without much delay so that the party that can prove majority claims stake to forming a new government,” said Singh.

The Front also moved for a no-confidence motion against Manipur Speaker for alleged abuse of power with regards to the disqualification cases of seven Congress turncoats.

Ibobi said that an SPF delegation including him met the Governor Friday evening and discussed the issue at length. The same day, amid the political turmoil, the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat of the state was held with the BJP winning the seat with 28 votes.

However, the opposition party was resentful as three of the seven MLAs facing disqualification were allowed to vote while the remaining, including another MLA from TMC, were disqualified. Apart from barring the seven MLAs from entering the Assembly, the High Court has also directed the Speaker not to pronounce the judgment of the disqualification cases till Friday.

Ibobi Singh expressed his discontentment over the alleged partiality and undermining of the law by the Speaker with regards to the judgment of the disqualification case.

“When all the MLAs are in the same case for the same reason, how could the Speaker disqualify only four? It is a very shameful act,” he said.

The Congress party could have easily won the RS seat had the Speaker not allowed the three defected MLAs, Ibobi Singh maintained. Regarding the cross voting that took place during the Rajya Sabha polls, Singh said that the matter has been brought to the notice of the party high command. No response comes yet, he added.

Manipur is in grave political crisis after four NPP members, including three Ministers, a Trinamool Congress MLA and an Independent MLA withdrew their support from the BJP-led coalition state government Wednesday. The breakaway group then forged an alliance with the Congress party taking the strength of the opposition to 27.


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