Action against defecting NCP legislators difficult: Meghalaya speaker

September 11th, 2012 - 1:05 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shillong, Sep 10 (IANS) Meghalaya Speaker Charles Pyngrope Monday hinted it would be difficult to take action against the 12 Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislators who have joined the newly-floated National People’s Party (NPP) of unsuccessful presidential candidate P.A. Sangma.

Pyngrope, enroute to Colombo for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, said that he would “process the letter of complaint” seeking disqualification of the legislators after his return next week.

NCP’s general secretary D.P. Tripathi had lodged a complaint with Pyngrope seeking the disqualification the 12 party legislators under the tenth schedule of the constitution.

Pyngrope, however, said such complaints must be lodged by a member of the state legislature, under the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules 1988, section 6(2).

The section states that that a “petition in relation to a member may be made in writing to the Speaker by any other member”.

“The rules clearly state that a complaint can only be addressed if a member of the House lodges it,” the speaker said.

Citing an example, Pyngrope said that former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Alexander Hek, who defected to the Congress, was not disqualified as no other member of the house lodged a complaint against him.

“In that case the complaint came from the BJP and not from a member of the house, so he wasn’t disqualified” said Pyngrope.

In the 60-member assembly, the NCP has 14 legislators, including suspended legislator Adolf Lu Hitler R. Marak.

Marak and Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai did not join the NPP.

Sangma, however, contended that the anti-defection law does not provide for the disqualification of the NCP members if two-thirds of the party legislators in Meghalaya merge with the NPP.

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