Former CM O Ibobi terms Speaker Y Khemchand’s action 'shameful'

Ibobi said the speaker took his own decision though the Manipur HC has directed him not to announce the disqualification case of the seven MLAs till June 19.

Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Y Khemchand Singh’s decision to disqualify the four MLAs by violating the Manipur High Court directives is shameful, former Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said in Imphal on Saturday.

The former chief minister made the statement while briefing the media on Saturday at Patsoi on the present political development in the state. 

“There is no other option than to seek legal help by approaching the High Court or the Supreme Court since the opportunity of no-confidence motion demanded by Secular Progressive Front (SPF) in the house has been rejected twice,” Ibobi Singh,  who is also the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, said.

Singh said the speaker also took his own decision though the Manipur High Court has directed him not to announce the disqualification case of the seven MLAs till June 19. This is in violation of the High Court directive, Ibobi said.

Reacting to the cross voting in the election to the Rajya Sabha seat by some MLAs on Friday, the CLP leader said that they have taken the matter to the notice of central Congress leaders and necessary actions will be initiated with the approval of the party high command.

"After the major BJP coalition partner withdrew its support, the BJP government has become an “illegal minority government,” he pointed out.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, there will be no problems in convening a special assembly session as social distancing can be strictly maintained in the house, Ibobi added.

Commenting on the Rajya Sabha election, former deputy chief minister and National People's Party (NPP) leader Y Joykumar said that the BJP government has used different means to win the election “by hook or by crook” and people are aware of it.

“The unprecedented and unfair judgment of the Speaker’s tribunal to disqualify four MLAs in the last hours before the Rajya Sabha election without following proper rules was shameful and it defies legal norms,” Joykumar said.

He added, “It is high time that we remove the present state government and form a new government based on democratic norms and natural justice”. While stating this, he also appealed to the people to observe the recent political developments in the state and support the newly formed SPF.   

Joykumar said the SPF met Governor Najma Heptulla on Friday and informed her about the political developments. The front also appealed to the governor to call a special assembly session so that it could prove its majority in the house. The governor responded that she will examine the cases from a legal perspective, he said.

Since the formation of the BJP-led coalition government, the party has been opposing the formation of a common front along with its coalition partners and signing a common minimum programme of the coalition government for certain reasons, the former deputy chief minister pointed out.

He also alleged that the BJP government tried to destroy the NPP in the state and the party members had been tolerating it for long.

“Under the BJP government, the state is under Gundaraj, police raj as there have been different instances in the state where any criticism of the BJP government were stiffly contested and those who raised their voices were arrested,” he said. If the BJP government continues to rule the state, people will have no democratic rights.

Joykumar mentioned that the NPP had withdrawn its support to the BJP-led government after an intense discussion among its members, Joykumar added.

Joykumar said, “Amit Shah had given a commitment to the NPP that the coalition government is for five years. However, within a year, the BJP tried to sideline the NPP and there were recent threats of divesting the portfolios of NPP ministers”.

Joykumar also alleged that he was never informed about the financial status of the state even when he was the finance minister of the state. 

“The BJP -led state government is not capable of taking funds from the centre when compared with the previous Congress government which was able to receive funds for different major projects in the state,” he added.

First Published:June 20, 2020, 11:56 p.m.

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