Imphal: The Manipur unit of Congress on Wednesday called on President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi over the issue of disqualification of 12 MLAs of the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur in the alleged 2018 ‘office of profit’ case.
The Congress leaders, consisting of the AICC in-charge of Manipur Bhakta Charan Das, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Govindas Konthoujam, AICC member Gaikhangam, and others met the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan. They apprised him of the constitutional role of the Governor in matters related to the disqualification of 12 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in Manipur.
Earlier, Congress stated that despite the Election Commission of India having tendered its opinion concerning the issue, Governor Najma Heptulla is yet to tender her opinion on the subject.
The Manipur Congress, under the leadership of former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, has been demanding the disqualification of 12 ruling MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the N Biren Singh-led government in 2017.
On Wednesday, the Congress leaders also submitted a memorandum to the President requesting either to recall or to ensure that the Governor of Manipur performs or discharges constitutional duties and obligations as envisaged under Article 192 of the Constitution of India.
The Congress alleged that the Governor had failed to discharge her constitutional duties and obligations in many incidents in the past by completely ignoring the law laid down by the Supreme Court of India as well as established democratic and parliamentary practices.
It further stated that 12 MLAs belonging to different political parties supporting the BJP led government in Manipur were appointed by CM Biren Singh in the exercise of the power conferred upon him under Section 3 of the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowance and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012.
Such appointees were given not only the status of the minister but also enjoyed financial benefits as well as other perks entitled to a minister, it added.
The Congress further alleged that despite the lapse of two months after the ECI tendered their valuable opinion on the issue in January 2021, Governor Heptulla has not taken any decision till date nor was any reason given for not taking the required decision in terms of Article 192 of the Constitution of India.
The current Manipur Legislative Assembly will end in 11 months, it added.
The Opposition party in Manipur further urged President Kovind to call for an appropriate decision either to recall the Governor of Manipur or to ensure that the provisions of Article 192 of the Constitution of India are complied with in letter and spirit by the Governor at the earliest.