Updated: March 24, 2021 10:14:26 pm
A delegation of Congress MLAs Wednesday submitted a memorandum to President Ramnath Kovind to either recall or to ensure that the Governor of Manipur performs constitutional duties and obligations as envisaged in the Indian Constitution.
Led by its state president K Govindas, the Congress team has been camping in the national capital since last week of February over the issue pertaining to the disqualification of 12 ruling MLAs in an ‘office of profit’ complaint against them for holding the position of parliamentary secretaries.
In the memorandum, the Congress has claimed that Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, in numerous instances, “failed to discharge her constitutional duties and obligations by completely ignoring the law laid down by the Supreme Court as well as established democratic and parliamentary practices”.
The memorandum pointed out that 12 MLAs belonging to different political parties supporting the BJP-led government in Manipur were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by Chief Minister N Biren under Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment Salary and Allowance and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012. The appointees were given not only the status of a minister but also enjoyed financial benefits as well as other perks entitled to a minister.
The Act, however, was declared as unconstitutional for want of legislative competence by the High Court of Manipur after being challenged.
Relying on the court order, Congress MLA DD Thaisii, had submitted an application on October 21, 2020 before the Governor to initiate a proceeding and obtain the opinion of the Election Commission of India (ECI) as contemplated in Article 192 of the Constitution of India before taking any decision. The application was reportedly forwarded to the ECI for obtaining opinion, it said.
Subsequently, the ECI had already tendered its opinion to the Governor in January but even after two months, the Governor has not taken any decision till date nor was any reason given for not taking the required decision, asserted the memorandum.
In the meantime, the delegation brought to the notice of the President that the life of the present Manipur Legislative Assembly will end in 11 months.
The opposition party also claimed that there are many instances where rules have been “flouted with impunity”.
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