IMPHAL: Speaker’s tribunal of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on Tuesday heard the disqualification petitions filed against the seven Congress MLAs who switched allegiance to BJP. The tribunal directed the counsels of the respondents to furnish the written objections to the preliminary objection filed by the respondent as earliest as possible before the conclusion of the Manipur assembly budget session which is scheduled to conclude on February 28.
Hearing of the disqualification case against the seven Congress MLAs began from 1 pm on Tuesday. The respondents in the cases filed preliminary objection, each questioning maintainability of the petitions. Copies of the same were also furnished to the petitioners’ counsels.
The Speaker’s tribunal also directed the respondent to file written statements to the disqualification petitions before the conclusion of the budget session on February 28.
In disqualification case no 11 of 2019, the petitioner filed additional affidavit and copies of the additional documents as well as additional affidavit, which were recorded by the tribunal. The tribunal decided to take up further proceedings of the case after conclusion of the budget session.
Notably, the Speaker’s tribunal listed February 11 to conduct further proceeding on the disqualification cases filed against seven defected Congress MLAs – Oinam Lukhoi of Wangoi AC, P Brojen of Wangjing Tentha AC , Ngamthang Haokip of Saitu AC, Ksh Biren of Lamlai AC, Y Surchandra of Kakching AC, S Bira of Kumbi AC, Ginsuanhau Zou of Singhat AC who switched their allegiance to BJP. Manipur legislative Assembly secretary, in a notice earlier, directed the parties to submit additional documents, if any, on or before February 7 without fail.
The Speaker’s tribunal heard the disqualification petitions filed against MLA Oinam Lukhoi by petitioners Khuraijam Dorendro, Kh Basantakumar and MLA Kangujam Ranjit; MLA Ksh Biren filed by Kh Gopal, Paonam Herabi and MLA Okram Henry; MLA Paonam Brojen filed by Th Surendra Singh, L Ronendra and MLA K Govindas; MLA Sanasam Bira filed by Moirangthem Sobha, Salam Jayantakumar and MLA Kh Joykishan; MLA Ngamthang Haokip by MLA Meghachandra; MLA Ginsuanhau by MLA O Surajkumar; and MLA Yengkhom Surchandra by DD Thaisii.
Notably, BJP won 21 seats while Congress won 28 in the 2017 state Assembly election. However, BJP formed the government with the support from four MLAs of NPF, four MLAs of NPP, one LJP MLA, one TMC MLA, one Independent and one defected Congress MLA. Later, seven other Congress MLAs switched their allegiance to BJP taking the total tally in BJP’s camp to 40 at present.