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Congress urges Governor to return office of profit bill

Written by: Staff

Gangtok, June 13 (UNI) Opposition Congress in the Sikkim Assembly has urged the state Governor to return the office of profit bill on the grounds that the bill was passed to save the ruling MLAs from disqualification for holding offices of profit.

The lone Congress MLA Acharya Tshering Lama told reporters here that a nine-member Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee delegation led by president Nar Bahadur Bhandari called on Governor V Rama Rao on Sunday and submitted a five-page petition requesting him not to give his assent to the '' controversial'' bills.

The Sikkim Legislative Assembly Member (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Bill, 2006 and the Sikkim State Legislators Appointment to Different Authorities Bill 2006 were passed by the state assembly in a special session on June 10.

Another opposition, the BJP, also criticised the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government for passing those bills, aimed to save ruling MLAs from possible disqualification for holidng offices of profit.

The Congress alleged that the bills were well planned for the sole purpose of defeating the petitions, pending before the Governor, demanding disqualification of 17 MLAs for holding office of profit.

The Congress in the petition had demanded the Governor for disqualification of the legislators, who has sought the opinion of the Election Commission (EC).

The EC asked the MLAs to file their statement. The matter was pending before the Governor as the EC had not yet given its opinion.

The Congress alleged that the bills were ultravires of the constitutions as they would be applied retrospectively from November 3, 1977. Through this bill the government wanted to handout largesse to the legislators violating the norms of the constitution. The party also objected to the presence and participation of 17 MLAs in the voting and described it as illegal.

The party said the Sikkim State Legislators Appointment to Different Authorities Bill sought to validate all illegal appointments of legislators made to different authorities retrospectively from 21st May 2004.

Several of the members, who are facing disqualification petitions are members, who have been appointed illegally without any authority of law from May 21, 2004 onwards. The bill sought to protect them, the memorandum said and urged the Governor not to give his assent.


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