On Resignation Of 7 Naga Mlas

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by Naochon Chamroy
The move of the 7 Naga MLAs who have tendered their resignation is a
self inflicting penance rather than a positive exercise of their
democratic rights as people�s representatives if the present quandary is
not elevated. It is open ended. Ever since their resignation bid, it was
left to the satisfaction of the speaker in whose responsibility lies the
onus to accept or not to accept the resignation of the MLAs or so it
seem. Since nothing substantial has been pronounced by the  speaker so
far despite his assurance  on the floor of the House, a public scrutiny
in this regard is timely and pertinent . According to the press report
and related documents the 7Naga MLAs conveyed their desire to resign
from their post to the assembly speaker while they were still camping
in Delhi save Tenny Shaiza MLA 44A/C Ukhrul Constituencey who was in
Imphal. The speaker summoned the 7Naga MLAs in his presence for his
satisfaction that the resignation is �voluntary and genuine�.
Consequently the MLAs are reported to have gone to the speaker and
authenticated their decision to resign from their post as MLAs. The 7
Naga MLAs have approached both the  State and Center leadership
including the governor of Manipur in this regard. Everybody is aware
that Shri. O Joy Hon�ble MLA had abstained two days from the recently
concluded Budget Session seeking a  concrete  decision  of the speaker
on the resignation issue. Nothing has been forth coming as of now. So
appears that the Assemble Speaker is foisting the 7 Naga MLAs to linger.
What will be the current position of the MLAs?  Can we blame them of
being reprobates  all along if they still  indulge in writing �
recommendations�  for schemes and  other developmental projects of the
government in the capacity of  an MLA? Certainly in the eyes of the Law
they are as MLAs as any other MLAs in the assembly for the simple that
their resignation has not been accepted  by the Speaker. Why? How do
they get out of this morass? Here is my humble opinion for a healthy
public debate.

Let�s take a look at what the �Rules of Procedure and Conduct of
Business in  Manipur Legislative  Assembly� says. According to Chapter
XXV Article 315(i) a member who desires to resign his seat in the House
shall intimate in writing... and shall not give any reason for his
resignation. If our MLAs had cited reasons as reported in the local news
papers like the incident at Mao Gate on 6th May 2010, Prime Minister not
giving them audience in Delhi etc. etc. then there is already a problem
technically because the rules says �shall not give any reason for the
resignation�.  Further 315(ii)  of the rules of procedure and conduct of
business provides  the speaker to accept the resignation immediately  if
he is satisfied that the resignation is voluntary and genuine and the
speaker to not have information or knowledge to the contrary. Was the
speaker not satisfied as to the genuineness and voluntariness of the
resignation? Did he get any information or had knowledge contrary  to
the claim? May be so because  as provided in 315(iii) of the rules of
procedure and conduct of business the speaker has not accepted the
resignation of the 7 MLAs.

It is therefore the MLAs who should satisfy the speaker that they have
decided to resign voluntary without any pressure  from within or
without. Viewed from this perspective  the onus of the resignation still
lies with the MLAs themselves. Should they vacillate between their
vision and the present difficulties they are wasting a fine opportunity
to serve the people they represent. Now only the Leader of the House or
any other member may move that the seat of the 7MLAs be declared vacant
if they are �absent without permission  from all sittings  of the House
for a period of sixty days or more�. We know the State Assembly Election
is coming again probably  in the early part of 2012 and there might not
be sixty days of sittings of the House within this Sixteen months or so.
Where does that leave the 7 MLAs? In the middle of nowhere perhaps.
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