Senior UDP leader and former Assembly Speaker Bindo M. Lanong today said that Dr. Mukul Sangma and all other MLAs in his group who left Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress will now face the scanner of the Tenth Schedule for disqualification of their membership as members of the Assembly.
“The Tenth Schedule legislated in 1985 is a very sensitive legislation, aimed at rooting out any form of defection by elected public representatives,” Lanong said.
He also said that after a prolonged public moves by Dr. Mukul Sangma and his group to leave the Congress and their press statement of having met the Speaker of the Assembly and submitted their papers on the matter, it is now open for the Speaker to initiate proceedings to disqualify them summarily, without hearing them, which such similar cases have been allowed by the Supreme Court.
“It may be remembered that paragraph 3 of the Tenth Schedule initially opened for a group of one third to leave their parent party. This paragraph has been abrogated in 2004,” Lanong said.
On the question of merger under paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule as claimed by the group led by Dr. Sangma, Lanong said that the merger is permissible, but in this case it is not a merger.
“Merger is allowed only if the whole Congress party decides to merge with any other party and not by a group. This is clearly a defection case,” Lanong said.