IMPHAL, October 8: Five MLAs of the state were today sworn in as Parliamentary Secretaries today during a simple ceremony held at the Cabinet hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
It may be recalled here that, the Manipur Parliamentary Bill was finally passed after the state Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh introduced it in the last Monsoon session of the Assembly on July 11 despite stiff opposition from opposition parties besides a walk ou by Trinamool Congress MLAs.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to thefive MLAs.
Those sworn MLAs are K Meghachandra Singh (Wangkhem A/C), M Prithiviraj Singh (Moirang A/C), Victor Keishing (Phungyar A/C), Vungzagin Valte (Thanlon A/C) and Md. Amin Shah (Khsetrigao A/C).
The swearing in ceremony was also attended by Ministers Gaikhangam, Th. Devendra Singh, Phungzathang Tonsing, Ngamthang Haokip, PHED Minister I Hemochandra Singh,Rural Development Minister Francis Ngajokpa, Education Minister M Okendra Singh, Works Miniter Dr Kh. Ratan Singh, Agriculture Minister Md Nasir, Social Welfare Minister AK Mirabai Devi, Manipur Assembly Speaker Th Lokeshore Singh, Hill Areas Committee Chairman Chaltonlien Amo, MLAs T Mangibabu Singh and S Bira Singh and Chief Secretary DS Poonia.
It may be mentioned that after the state Chief Minister had introduced the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, 2012) to the state Assembly on July 11, Opposition MLAs led by Dr I Ibohalbi.
The Governor had given his assent on August 5.
The appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries were objected to by opposition MLAs because it would lead to wastage of public money towards payment of salaries and perks while no real work could be assigned to them.
Again it would have a bearing on protocol matters while these Parliamentary Secretaries would not have a say in executive decisions.
Meanwhile, the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries has been seen as a move to placate ruffled feathers of MLAs who could not find a berth in the third Okram Ibobi Singh ministry at the expense of the public exchequer.
It may be recalled here that the Indian National Congress has 42 MLAs out of which one has been elected as the Speaker.
So in order to placate the 28 MLAs who has been left high and dry there seems to be a compulsion to placate the MLAs who were not included in the ministry.
According to the Sarkaria Commission report, Manipur could not exceed the number of ministers from 12 including the Chief Minister.
And this definitely questions the stability of the Okram Ibobi ministry even though the Congress has a majority of 42 in a house of 60 MLAs in the Manipur Legislative Assembly.