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NCP slams BJP on defection

Kohima, Aug. 1: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has accused the BJP of encouraging defection in Nagaland.

A statement issued by the party’s honorary permanent secretary, S.R. Kohli, said the BJP was talking of good governance at the Centre but it was so keen take in defectors in Nagaland. He was reacting to BJP leaders defending the three former NCP legislators who had defected to the party on June 17.

The NCP has demanded disqualification of three MLAs — T.M. Lotha, Imtilemba Sangtam and Mhonlumo Kikon.

Speaker Chotisuh Sazo was expected to give his ruling by next week.

Kohli also criticised the BJP for issuing a veiled warning to the Nagaland Assembly Speaker. “The constitutional authority vested in the office of the Speaker should not be undermined and any action of the Speaker can only be interpreted by a court of law,” he said.

He said the Speaker should uphold the spirit of the anti-defection law, which is meant to check political immorality.

But BJP national executive member Sudhanshu Mittal said three NCP members merging with the BJP was valid. He said the BJP would even take the matter to court if the Speaker’s ruling did not favour them.

The NCP warned that it was ready to go to court if the three former NCP members were not disqualified from the House.

Currently, the Speaker is consulting constitutional experts before taking a decision.

Both the NCP and BJP are constituents of the ruling Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN). The NCP had won four seats and BJP one in the 2013 Assembly election. NCP legislator L. Khumo refused to defect to the BJP.