Meghalaya governor for anti-defection law in district councils

Shillong, Feb 10 (PTI) Miffed over frequent defectionsby elected members of the autonomous district councils causinginstability, Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary today advocatedan anti-defection law in the councils on the lines prevalentin parliament and state assemblies.

"Ideally we should have an anti-defection measure todisqualify people who change side like a law that is enforcedin case of MPs and MLAs", Mooshahary told reporters.

He was responding to queries on the instability in theGaro Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), which is underanimated suspension since April last year in the wake ofdefections.

Referring to the GHADC, Mooshahary said, "there aresome members who have changed sides two/three times. They havecome and met me also. A couple of days back, some NCP memberscame and told me they are now supporting the Congress".

"The same people tell me they are in one group, andlater they inform that they are in the other group,"Mooshahary said.

"I am examining the issue. I will take an appropriatedecision after satisfying myself," the Governor said.

The GHADC was placed under administrator rule sinceApril 1 last year in the wake of political instabilitytriggerd after allegations that the ruling NCP had clutched onto power despite losing majority.

Of late there are reports that seven of the 18 membersof NCP have switched sides to the Congress which had 12members in the 30-member council.

Some of the NCP members, who defected to the Congress,had called on the Governor last Saturday urging him to directformation of the executive council.

The NCP had yesterday filed a petition at the SupremeCourt challenging a recent Gauhati High Court judgement whichallowed the GHADC to be placed under animated suspension.

Autonomous district councils in tribal areas of thecountry are provided in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitutionand the elected members of the council are not in the ambit ofthe anti-defection law.

Frequent defections by elected members of the districtcouncil had plagued the autonomous councils in Meghalaya forquite some time now.

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