KOHIMA: Nagaland could be the first state to face political instability after the Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the appointment of parliamentary secretaries in every state.
The SC ruling came a day after the chief minister T R Zeliang had rewarded 26 MLAs, mostly from the Naga People’s Front (NPF), by appointing them as parliamentary secretaries.
They were among a group of MLAs who had helped him wrest power from his predecessor Shurhozelie Liezietsu. The NPF predicted that the SC ruling would create political instability in the state. “The aims and objectives of downsizing of ministries were very noble but in a state that has various tribes, this ruling is going to create instability,” NPF press secretary Sebastian Zumvu told the New Indian Express.
Following the ruling, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur could also face trouble. Usually, MLAs who cannot be inducted into the ministry are kept in good humour with the post of parliamentary secretary. The BJP government in politically-unstable Arunachal has 24 parliamentary secretaries out of the total 59 MLAs.
In Meghalaya, there are 17 parliamentary secretaries who enjoy the rank and status of a cabinet minister.
Congress-ruled Mizoram has seven parliamentary secretaries but even if they lose the posts, it may not be a problem for CM Lal Thanhawla.
Thirty two of the 40 MLAs in the House are from the Congress.
Manipur had 12 parliamentary secretaries, six of whom quit the post after being made members of various committees. The BJP-led coalition may explore similar option for the remaining six.
Assam does not have a single parliamentary secretary. “We’re even six ministers short of the mandated 19,” said a government spokesman.