Silchar, Dec. 14: Governorís rule in the North Cachar Hills Autonomous District Council, clamped in June amid allegations of financial malpractice by the then chief executive member Mohit Hojai and his cohorts in the council, came to an end today.
D. Thaosen, Deputy Speaker in the councilís legislature, summoned the session attended by 25 councillors, including a Nepali-nominated member, all owing allegiance to the Congress.
The notification by the Assam government formally ending governorís rule in the district council was received at Haflong, the district headquarters of NC Hills, on Saturday, triggering a flurry of activity by the Congress for taking over charge.
The effective strength of the council is 28, but its strength was scaled down to 27 after a member passed away a few months ago. The byelection to fill the vacancy is yet to take place.
Governorís rule in the council was promulgated on June 12 after the financial skulduggery committed by Hojai came out in the open.
The Tarun Gogoi government recommended its withdrawal after the Congress in North Cachar Hills district under its president Samarjit Haflongbar, former MLA, was able to stitch together an effective majority in the council legislature.
Eleven councillors from the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC), a prominent regional political party in the district, had joined the Congress.
The effective strength of the Congress has now come to 24 after it was able to orchestrate a floor crossing from the BJP by garnering the support of six of its councillors.
Deputy Speaker Thaosen asked the candidates to submit their nomination papers for the posts of the chief executive member of the council and executive members. The date of the election will be fixed tomorrow.
The buzz in the grapevine is that the Congress is clearing the deck by submitting only the names for the exact number of the vacant posts, thus pre-empting any chance of a contest. The names would be selected after a meeting of the district Congress in Haflong, according to party sources.
The BJP is now left with one member in the council, Kulendra Daolagopu.
The ASDC claims to have the support of former Rajya Sabha MP Prakanta Warisa, and Mohit Hojai, the discredited councillor who had figured in the scam for siphoning off the district council funds to the coffers of the militant outfit, DHD (Jewel).
Haflongbar, the district Congress chief, is tipped to become the next CEM in the district council.
He told The Telegraph from Haflong after the brief first session of the council that his first priority would be to usher in lasting peace in the insurgency-ravaged North Cachar Hills and bring about accountability in the expenses being incurred in the council.
Speaker of the council legislature Mayanan Kemprai could not attend todayís session.