Mnp Cong demands disqualification of parl secys

Mnp Cong demands disqualification  of parl secys
Okram Ibobi Singh
Correspondent IMPHAL, Oct 23 | Publish Date: 10/23/2020 12:12:25 PM IST

Opposition Congress, in a memorandum submitted to the Manipur Governor on Friday, demanded disqualification of 12 MLAs who were once appointed as parliamentary secretaries by N Biren Singh-led BJP’s coalition government 

The state Congress has been pressing the Governor to take action against the 12 MLAs since the High Court of Manipur declared the Act under which the MLAs were appointed as parliamentary secretaries invalid and unconstitutional.

The High Court of Manipur, in a ruling passed on September 19, 2020, declared the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 under which the BJP-led coalition government appointed the 12 parliamentary secretaries as invalid and unconstitutional. 

Following the ruling, the opposition Congress has been demanding that the state Governor must take necessary actions to disqualify the MLAs even as they had already been removed from the posts.

A Congress delegation led by opposition leader and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh today met Governor Dr Najma Heptulla and submitted a memorandum reiterating their demand for disqualification of the MLAs.

Congress MLAs - Gaikhangam, K Ranjit Singh, Konthoujam Govindas, Keisham Meghachandra Singh and DD Thaisi – were among others who accompanied Ibobi in the meeting.

Addressing a press conference at Imphal Congress Bhavan after the meeting, former chief minister O Ibobi Singh demanded that the 12 MLAs who enjoyed the office of profit after they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries must be disqualified. “We have requested the Governor to take appropriate action against the 12 MLAs as per the Constitution of India,” Ibobi said. 

He claimed that there was enough evidence to prove that the 12 MLAs enjoyed the office of profit after they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

He said that they enjoyed the status of minister of state. They drew salaries as parliamentary secretaries besides vehicles allotted by the state GAD (General Administrative Department) unlike the parliamentary secretaries appointed by the Delhi government.

The former three time chief minister said that while submitting the memorandum, the Congress delegation enclosed all the documents supporting that the 12 MLAs did enjoy office of profit.

The opposition leader further accused the incumbent BJP-led government of indulging in various unconstitutional activities right from the beginning.

He said that the BJP-led coalition government itself was formed in an unconstitutional manner from the backdoor while reminding how the BJP had formed the government sidelining the Congress that emerged as the single largest party.

“Since the beginning, they (BJP) violated constitution and law. The same is continuing till today,” Ibobi said, citing withdrawal of candidature by an independent candidate who filed nomination paper for November 7 by-polls.

The former chief minister was referring to Chinlunthang who filed his nomination paper to contest the by-poll from Singhat AC of Churachandpur district but withdrew his candidature on Thursday leaving BJP’s Ginsuanhau as the lone candidate.

Chinlunthang was appointed as OSD (Officer on Special Duty) in the tribal affairs and hills department by manipulating the date of appointment, he alleged.

There was no reason for the RO to accept the nomination paper filed by a government employee to contest an election. If the RO happened to do so, he is liable to legal action.

Interestingly, Chinlunthang was the BJP candidate from the same Assembly constituency (Singhat AC) in 2017 general elections to the state Assembly in which he lost the election to Ginsuanhau who won the election on Congress ticket.

However, he was found to be appointed as OSD of the tribal affairs and hills department by an order issued on September 24, 2020.

The order appointing him was date backed. If not, there was no reason for the concerned RO accepting his nomination paper. And if he did it, he was liable to be booked under relevant election law, Ibobi said. 

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