The opposition Congress is all set to file two more petitions seeking the disqualification of former Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope and Sutnga-Saipung legislator Shitlang Pale on December 10.
Pyngrope and Pale were among the 12 MLAs, who recently defected and joined the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
The Congress, which had already filed petitions against the 10 MLAs including former chief minister Mukul Sangma, also maintained that calling them back to its fold will never arise.
Addressing media persons, newly elected Congress Legislature Party leader Ampareen Lyngdoh said that the first meeting of the CLP which is a group of “famous five” have discussed the further action on the remaining petitions to be filed against two more members, whom the party thought not necessary as a strategy to include them in the first batch of petitions submitted to the office of the Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh.
“(Accordingly) we will be filing the two petitions on December 10 as we have decided to see how the first 10 (MLAs) respond to this show cause initiated by our petition,” she informed.
Refusing to disclose the other strong points that they would include in the last two petitions, Lyngdoh however said, “(We are in) consultation with legal experts, with senior citizens of the state who have been in politics for many years and we will take all views and all suggestions and we will pen down the correct inclusion of agendas on grounds valid for disqualification of the batch of two, and in other words, also ensuring all 12 will be fit for disqualification once we complete the batch of submission of petition.”
On Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh had acted on the petition filed by Lyngdoh who sought disqualification of Congress MLAs who defected to the Trinamool Congress.
The Speaker has given seven days notice to 10 defected Congress MLAs to reply to the charges that they should be disqualified under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution read with the provisions of Rule 6 of The Members of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules 1988.
When asked the reason for not filing petitions against Charles and Shitlang, the CLP leader said that the party’s action in this regard was based on inputs received that the two were the last to exit from the Congress.
“We base this information and hence we also take necessary action. When they were the last two to leave then they will be the last two that we will file petitions against,” she said adding “This is a strategy that we are using, correct or incorrect is an irrelevant debate. But now we are given yet another space, to reaffirm our commitment, reaffirm our stand that these 12 MLAs need disqualification.”
“We will be given ourselves that opportunity once we are privy to the submission of the 10 MLAs to know whether or not all points are covered in our arguments, we are backed up by an efficient legal team and the strategy of the Congress may not be understood to the public but as leaders it is a strategy adopted to benefit us in the long run,” she further stated.
Asked on the future course of action in case the Speaker’s ruling is not in favour of the Congress, Lyngdoh said that they do not want to presume or assume that the decision to be taken by the Speaker will be negative as far as the party is concerned.
“The forum before us is to take cognizance of an act which is called the Tenth Schedule, which looks into the matters of defection. We will not assume that an opportunity will not be given to us,” she said.
To another question if anybody from the 12 MLAs wants to come back to the Congress, the CLP leader however said that the party is not in conversation with anyone and it has no interest in engaging in dirty politics.
She further maintained, “The strategy of the party was to exude not for a second welcome but to see, to study, to observe the defense of the 10 MLAs on the petition filed by us so that it gives us enough ground to gather more arguments and to increase the quality of our petition in the eyes of the law against all 10.
We do not engage in dirty politics. We do not like to pull the rug out from under anybody’s feet – so very simple we will await the response of the show cause of the 10 and accordingly build additional arguments for disqualification of all 12 MLAs.”
On the claims made by the 12 MLAs that more and more people are leaving the Congress, Lyngdoh said no measures are to be taken by the Congress on further movements of individuals to any group, it ends with the 12.
“Already the 12 are under scrutiny for defection and disqualification. More means individuals, disqualification will not be a problem henceforth so we stick by the spirit and letter of the Tenth Schedule, we fight our case on the basis of Tenth Schedule,” she added.