Speaker nod to merger of Congress MLAs with TMC in Meghalaya

Meghalaya assembly speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Thursday recognised the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) -- a month after the legislators decided to switch sides in a sudden move.
Former chief minister Mukul Sangma was among 12 legislators who handed over the letter of merger to the Speaker on November 24.
Former chief minister Mukul Sangma was among 12 legislators who handed over the letter of merger to the Speaker on November 24.
Updated on Dec 24, 2021 04:31 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Guwahati

Meghalaya assembly speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Thursday recognised the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) -- a month after the legislators decided to switch sides in a sudden move.

“I am satisfied that the merger of the 12 members of Indian National Congress is valid as provided under paragraph 4 of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India and doesn’t attract disqualification,” Lyngdoh said in a bulletin.

“I do not find any merits in the submissions made in the petitions filed by Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh, MLA, (Congress legislature party leader) and therefore the same is dismissed,” the bulletin added.

The 12 legislators -- former chief minister Mukul Sangma, Marthon Sangma, Jimmy Sangma, Lazarus Sangma, Miani Shira, HM Shangpliang, George Lyngdoh, Winnerson Sangma, Dikkanchi Shira, Zenith Sangma, Charles Pyngrope and Shitlang Pale -- handed over the letter of merger to the Speaker on November 24.

The Congress had challenged the merger and sought the disqualification of the MLAs. Congress leader in the legislative assembly, M Ampareen Lyngdoh, on November 29 filed 10 petitions with the Speaker seeking the disqualification of the 12 legislators. She filed two more petitions earlier this month.

The speaker last monthissued notices to the MLAs asking them to submit their response to the plea. However, upon receiving the response from the MLAs, he approved their merger with the TMC.

“The speaker has decided, and I respect his order. I will not pursue this petition forward because our campaign will take priority in 2022. The party however may have a different view on the matter,” Ampareen Lyngdoh said on Thursday. “As a CLP (Congress legislative party), we took the available space to move a petition against the desertion, this being an opportunity to object to the manner in which the exodus disclosed, hence no regret on that.”

“The speaker has decided, and I respect his order. The party however may have a different view on the matter,” Ampareen Lyngdoh, who had filed 10 pleas, said.

Meghalaya president of TMC unit Charles Pyngrope told HT: “I’m sure the Speaker has exercised his prudence after due study of all the Constitutional provisions and the Anti Defection Act to come to such a conclusion.”

With inputs from David Laitphlang in Shillong

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Utpal is an assistant editor based in Guwahati. He covers all eight states of North-East and was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times .

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