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Mukul & Co. liable for disqualification: Bindo Lanong

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Shillong, Nov 29: United Democratic Party (UDP) chief adviser and former deputy chief minister Bindo M Lanong on Monday said the disqualification issue of Dr Mukul Sangma’s group of 12 MLAs, which openly announced of having deserted from the Indian National Congress (INC) to join the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), is lawfully warranted under paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

In a statement, Lanong said going strictly by the provisions of the law, without any attempt to directly or indirectly influence the Assembly Speaker, the preamble clearly states, “Provisions as to disqualification on ground of defection,” offering no ambiguity for any interpretation.

He said it may be recalled that the original paragraph 3 of the law of Tenth Schedule was inserted to allow split by the majority of not less than one third of the members of the party, which paragraph was later abrogated by the 91st Amendment 2003, sealing all doors for defection, with effect from January 1, 2004.

According to him, the only lawful provisions is paragraph 4 of the Schedule, which has no bar for merger of political parties, like what the KHNAM President, Paul Lyngdoh MLA, resorted to during 2008-2013 term, when he merged KHNAM with the UDP.

The other case of AL Hek BJP MLA during the same term who joined the Congress government of DD Lapang and later JD Rymbai in 2009, the then Speaker ignored the case, neither the BJP lodged any complaint, reportedly on the ground that the defection of one person did not cause any harm to the government, which however, the case should have been taken up on constitutional and technical ground, he said.

Lanong further stated that the case of Ampareen Lyngdoh, who wanted to desert the UDP in 2009, resigned as MLA, fought the bye-election from the INC and got re-elected.

“The present case of Dr Mukul Sangma and the others neither comes under para-4 of the 10th Schedule nor under any other permissible provision. Hence, the liability for disqualification,” he asserted.

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