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Meghalaya Assembly Speaker to examine Congress plea for disqualification of turncoat MLAs

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Shillong, Nov 29: Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Monday said he will examine the petition filed by the Congress seeking the disqualification of the 12 MLAs for merging with the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“I will look into it and see what is to be done,” Metbah told journalists after receiving the petition submitted by a delegation of the Congress led by new CLP leader Ampareen Lyngdoh here.

He said Ampareen Lyngdoh came with two other MLAs – Process T Sawkmie and Mohendro Rapsang, while the other two MLAs – Mayralborn Syiem and Kimfa S Marbaniang – could not come as they had to attend the meeting of the regional border committee in Guwahati.

He informed that the delegation had pointed out that the defection by the 12 MLAs attracts disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India.

When asked, Metbah said that he had also received a letter from the 12 MLAs last week about their decision to merge with the AITC.

“In fact I have started but I was out of town most of the time, I couldn’t focus on those files…The matter is under examination,” he said while asserting, “All these (issues) have to be looked into (as they) need proper examination so that ruling or decision will be made accordingly.”

On the AITC declaring itself as the principal opposition in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, the Speaker however said that it is for his office to declare.

He also added that regarding the AITC’s decision to appoint the opposition chief whip and others is their party’s internal matters.

Pertaining to the Congress’ decision to challenge the legality of the merger, the Speaker however said as of now the former Congress MLAs have 12 out of 17 (and that they complied with the two-third majority as mandated by the 10th Schedule).

Refusing to comment any further, Metbah said, “Give me some space so that I can examine the matter thoroughly and we will inform you accordingly.”

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