IMPHAL: The Vice-President of MPCC Moirangthem Hemanta has asserted that a need has arisen for inserting a special amendment in the Constitution to allow punishment of the Speaker of elected bodies like legislative Assembly with disqualification if he is found guilty of not working to uphold equality and justice but functioning only to further the political agenda of his party.
In a press meet held at Congress Bhavan on Friday the MPCC Vice President stated that there have been many cases where MLAs and ministers resigned from a party and changed alliance to another political bloc, but nowhere in the world it was observed that a legislator switch sides on three different occasions as was seen recently in Manipur.
On the allegation of manipulation of laws during disqualification motions for several MLAs he said the Speaker had intentionally chosen different yardsticks for different MLAs based on their suppleness to bend back and support the government. Based on his conduct, the present Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly had acted with a discriminatory policy in deciding which legislator to disqualify and whom not to, Hemanta alleged.
He further mentioned that Shyamkumar’s disqualification case has to travel as far as the Supreme Court for reaching a verdict. The MLAs from Lamlai, Kumbi and Kakching Assembly constituencies were disqualified following their decisions to reverse their earlier stands to switch to BJP and deciding to return to the fold of Congress. However, the Congress MLAs from Singhat, Saitu and Wangoi ACs were not disqualified although the positions of all the legislators were the same. The case of Trinamool MLA Robindro who had neither pleaded nor discussed plans to move to another party was put under disqualification process. At the same time, an MLA elected on Congress symbol jumped to BJP and again embraced the Congress. Then, after two days he joined BJP and was saved from disqualification due to his apparently smart last minute decision, he said. The former minister maintained that the Speaker disregarded the testimonies of witnesses during the tribunal ruling and flatly denied that there were evidence of particular MLAs jumping to another party.
Lastly, regarding the resignations of Congress legislators Okram Henary and Nasir, he raised possibilities that there were pressures from some quarters on them and they left Congress for BJP thinking that something sinister might happen to them if they were resilient to supporting the BJP. However, he said that the Congress MLAs could have quit to serve their personal interests.
Hence it can be said safely that the Speaker chose to save the legislators who could be beneficial to the BJP. Therefore, a special legislation needs to be enacted and inscribed in the Constitution for disqualification for the speakers of the house of public representatives whose act does not show belief in equal justice but in petty politics to benefit the party he is affiliated to, he asserted.