NCP seeks disqualification of Meghalaya rebels

August 30th, 2012 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 30 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Thursday sought the disqualification of its 12 legislators in Meghalaya who have joined the National People’s Party (NPP).

“The party has sent a letter to assembly speaker seeking disqualification of our 12 party legislators under the tenth schedule of the constitution,” NCP leader Robert Kharshiing told IANS.

“Legal notices have also been issued to all the 12 NCP rebel legislators,” he added.

“The NCP is a national party. If at all there is a merger or a split, it has to take place at the national level,” Kharshiing said, adding that the options were still open for the rebel legislators to return to the party-fold.

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, which was launched by former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma.

Sangma, however, said: “The anti-defection law does not provide for the disqualification of the NCP members if two-thirds of the party MLAs in Meghalaya merge with the NPP.”

Echoing Sangma’s views, Meghalaya Speaker Charles Pyngrope said: “The tenth schedule of the constitution does not attract disqualification if more than two-thirds of the original members of a party merge with a new party.”

On Friday, Sangma’s sons James K. Sangma and Conrad K. Sangma were among the dozen NCP legislators who joined the new party. Conrad heads the opposition in the Meghalaya assembly.

Sangma’s daughter Agatha Sangma, a minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, is still in the NCP.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had dissolved the party’s Meghalaya unit after the defection.

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