Manipur Guv delaying decision on 12 BJP MLAs: Congress

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS): The Congress has alleged that Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla is delaying the decision on disqualification of 12 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs. Abhishek Manu Singhvi addressing a press conference in New Delhi flanked by former Manipur CM Ibobi Singh said, "Even after the September 2020 judgment of the High Court, which is under appeal now in the Supreme Court, but there is no stay, no order yet after more than five months, neither the Governor nor the Election Commission took any decision on the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs."

"This is nothing, but deliberate, unconstitutional, artificial delay to allow benefits to be reaped by a particular party," he added. The Congress alleged that after making the Government with the help of rebels, the BJP rewarded those very defecting MLAs, roughly 12 in number, with Parliamentary Secretary posts. They did not last too long and were removed after a few months because they realised that these posts are illegal, but what they did not realise was that subsequent to a judgment of the Supreme Court related to Assam in July 2017, where the apex court held that such laws appointing Assembly or Parliamentary Secretaries lie within the legislative competence and domain only of the Central Government and not the state.

A petition was filed in the Manipur High Court, which ultimately following the Supreme Court judgment held that the Manipur law of 2012 under which these persons were appointed was stuck down. Immediately after that, under our constitutional provisions, especially Articles 190, 191, 192, a person, who has held or is holding the past or continue to hold any office of profit stands disqualified.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also tweeted, "12 BJP Manipur MLAs should have been disqualified in 2018 in office of profit case. Now, the ECI says that Manipur Governor has already been instructed about the same but no action has been taken yet. Entirely unconstitutional of the Governor to protect BJP."