By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 8: In a move which could turn out to be a major setback to ruling BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election, two Congress MLAs have petitioned the Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker to disqualify MLA O Lukhoi (Wangoi AC) and MLA Y Surchandra (Kakching AC) under the Constitution’s 10th Schedule.
Notably, both Lukhoi and Surchandra are supporting the BJP-led coalition Government even though they were elected on Congress tickets.
Congress MLAs K Ranjit and DD Thaisii filed disqualification petitions to the Speaker’s Tribunal today.
Interestingly, Congress secured 28 seats in the Manipur Legislative Assembly election held in 2017 while BJP won 21 seats, NPP, NPF four each, LJP and AITC one each.
Even though Congress party emerged as the single largest party, Governor Dr Najma Heptulla invited BJP to form the Government and subsequently N Biren was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 15 last year.
In addition to its 21 MLAs, 10 MLAs of NPP, NPF, LJP, AITC and one independent MLA lent support to BJP taking the total number of MLAs in their camp to 32.
Moreover, Th Shyamkumar who was elected from Andro AC on Congress ticket joined the BJP camp soon after the election results were declared.
Further, Congress MLA Ginsuanhao (Singhat AC) extended support to BJP followed by four other Congress MLAs namely Ngamthang Haokip (Saitu AC), Y Surchandra (Kakching AC), S Bira (Kumbi AC) and O Lukhoi (Wangoi AC).
After some people of their respective Assembly Constituencies filed disqualification petitions against the six Congress MLAs who have been openly supporting BJP under the anti-defection law, the Speaker’s Tribunal had started hearing the petitions.
K Ranjit and DD Thaisii filed fresh petitions today seeking disqualification of O Lukhoi and Y Surchandra selectively.
It is said that the fresh petitions were filed with due authorisation from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
For Congress party, it is the first time they filed petitions at the Speaker’s Tribunal seeking disqualification of MLAs elected on Congress ticket but have been supporting BJP although they submitted representations repeatedly to the Governor to take up necessary action against six Congress MLAs who have switched their loyalty to BJP.
Even though the six MLAs including Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar have been openly supporting BJP, they are still sitting on the Opposition bench. At the same time, Congress party has not yet expelled them.
One Congress spokesman claimed that the party’s move to disqualify Surchandra and Lukhoi might have serious impact on the Lok Sabha election which is likely to be held early next year. Following this initiative, all the six MLAs including Th Shyamkumar are staring at an uncertain future, he said.
Political trends seen across the country at present suggest that BJP’s wave has receded. If Congress party can win around 100 seats in the Lok Sabha election, it will be either ‘king’ or ‘king-maker’. However, if the party’s figure plummets below 100, it will have little hope, said the spokesman.
Talking about State Assembly elections, they said that Congress will win in Rajasthan and the party’s fortune has been rising in both Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh.
Congress party has strong chances of emerging as the second largest party in Telengana. All by-elections held in Southern States have been won by Congress.
These developments indicate that BJP’s wave has been receding gradually as the Lok Sabha election approaches and there would be landmark changes in the State after the Lok Sabha election, added the spokesman.
By Our Staff Reporter