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CSWO glare on dual-post lawmakers

Shillong, July 18: Lawmakers in Meghalaya who hold dual posts have come under the scanner of governor K.K. Paul who has received an appeal that such elected representatives should be disqualified for enjoying office of profit.

The governor today received a petition from the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO), which submitted a list of dual-post holders, who have been elected members of the Assembly as well as members of autonomous district councils.

Meghalaya has three autonomous district councils created under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule — Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Jaińtia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) and Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).

The members holding dual posts had contested both the Assembly and district council elections conducted in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

There are as many as eight representatives holding two posts, including Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai, district council affairs minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh, KHADC’s chief executive member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit and KHADC’s leader of the Opposition, Pynshngaińlang N. Syiem.

Except one member, the remaining seven MLAs who got elected as members of autonomous district councils are in KHADC.

Stephanson Mukhim is the only member of district council in JHADC, who was elected both as MLA of Amlarem constituency and MDC of War East constituency.

Shullai is the MLA of South Shillong and MDC of Laban-Mawprem constituency, H.D.R. Lyngdoh (MLA of Sohiong and MDC of Nongspung-Sohiong constituency), Basaiawmoit (MLA and MDC of Nongkrem constituency) and Syiem (MLA and MDC of Mawsynram constituency).

The other MLAs who became members of district councils were Metbah Lyngdoh (MLA of Mairang and MDC of Mairang-Nongkhlaw constituency), Brolding Nongsiej (MLA and MDC of Mathadraishan constituency) and Phlastingwell Pangniang (MLA and MDC of Rambrai-Jyrngam constituency).

Asking the governor to disqualify them as members of the Assembly and district council, the organisation said the persons were holding the posts in violation of rule 17 (1) (a) of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Districts (Constitution of District Councils) rules, 1951.

They also violate the provisions laid down under Article 191 (1) (A) of the Constitution as amended until date.

“By holding the post of MDC along with the post of MLA, it leads to conflict of interest. These individuals are drawing salaries and other allowances, which is unconstitutional,” CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing said in the petition to the governor. The organisation termed it a “fraud”.

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