SHILLONG: The Congress-led coalition government in Meghalaya today tabled a bill preventing legislators from holding post in either of the three tribal autonomous district councils, which when passed, could affect eight legislators who are holding dual posts.
Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Law department, Rowell Lyngdoh tabled the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 after Speaker A T Mondal allowed it to be introduced.
"I have gone through the implication of the Bill and… that this bill has been brought as per direction of the Court, I had agreed to allow its introduction," Mondal said.
The Speaker said, "I have given time for them to submit amendments and tomorrow it will be decided whether the bill be passed or it will be referred to the Select Committee."
Before the bill could be introduced, Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy pleaded that the issue should not be discussed now, but rather wait for the ruling of the High Court after which Chief Minister Mukul Sangma assured that the interpretation has been examined with proper diligence.
"In fact it is the High Court that has been directing the Governor to take a decision and inform the High Court by September 29,” the chief minister said.
"The timing is appropriate and the legislative exercise cannot be further delayed,” he said.
One of the members who was aggrieved with the introduction of the Bill as he stood to lose his membership to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, HSPDP legislator Phlastingwell Pangniang said, "I request the government of the day not to take a hasty decision to introduce the bill.”
The Mawsynram legislator, P N Syiem, who also holds charge as chief executive member at the KHADC, said he was being victimised with the Bill.
"The enforcement of the amendment bill should be after the completion of the term and why not seek the opinion of the affected persons as per democratic practices," he said.
The KHADC CEM also suggested the bill be sent to a select committee for seeking the views especially of the eight MLAs who stand affected. According to him, the views of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) – KHADC and JHADC should also be sought.