BJP supporters take out the protest rally in Imphal on Thursday. Picture by Ngangbam Indrakanta Singh
Imphal, Oct. 6: The Manipur BJP unit today organised a rally in Imphal against Speaker Th. Lokeshwar Singh's alleged inaction over pending disqualification cases in his tribunal.
The party submitted a memorandum to the governor's office after the rally.
"We submitted the memorandum to the government to look into the matter," said MLA Khumukcham Joykishan. BJP leaders alleged that the Speaker violated the Constitution by wrongly translating its provisions according to his own vested interest.
"We don't want to criticise the Speaker's decision. If some MLAs are subject to be disqualified, the decision of the tribunal should be announced in time. We want the Speaker to exercise his power rightly," he said.
Former Manipur BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh said every state has disqualification cases. Speakers do not delay more than six months to announce their decision as directed by the Supreme Court. However, the Manipur Speaker has not yet declared his decision on the cases that are pending for more than two-and-a-half years.
"The Speaker announces his judgment only on those cases that would benefit the Congress and keep the rest pending. He should stop this favouritism," he added.
MLA O. Lukhoi, who along with Th. Bishwajit and Kh. Joykishan, had won the 10th Assembly polls on Trinamul tickets, was disqualified by the Speaker. The three then joined the BJP. Lukhoi later moved the court against his disqualification and resigned from the BJP for which he was expelled for six years from the party. Recently, Lukhoi and three other MLAs of the Trinamul joined the Congress. Chaoba Singh said although Lukhoi is not a Trinamul MLA, the Speaker had announced all four MLAs as belonging to the Trinamul.
Thongju MLA Thongam BiswajitSingh said the Speaker, being a tribunal judge, should follow the provision of the Constitution. He said the memorandum seeks the governor to intervene into the matter ahead of the polls so that no more doubt remains to the future members of the House.
Although the tenure of the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly will end in another two-three months, still many cases, including the case regarding five Manipur Congress MLAs, are pending with the Speaker's tribunal. "If the Speaker does not take any action, we will hold rallies across all districts," said Joykishan.