By Oken Jeet Sandham
KOHIMA, Jun 26 (NEPS): The news of the formal merger of three NCP MLAs, Dr TM Lotha, Imtilemba Sangtam and Mmhonlumo Kikon, with the BJP in Nagaland, which was done on June 16, 2014, refuse to die down as the NCP National Party continues to mislead the general public on the “merger” with the BJP in Nagaland.
Reacting to a news item appeared in section of local dailies that “NCP National president Sarad Pawar, angered over the second such defection of NCP legislators in the State, has issued suspension orders against the three – ex-president Imtilemba Sangtam, Dr TM Lotha and Mmhonlumo Kikon,” Dr Lotha wondered as to how they would issue such orders on June 17, 2014 in the “post-merger” development.
“Because the three NCP MLAs including myself with our supporters have formally merged with the BJP in Nagaland on June 16, 2014 and all the constitutionally relevant papers to this effect have also been officially submitted to the Honourable Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly on the same day at 3:00 PM,” he asserted. He further termed as “ridiculous and misleading” the so-called “suspension orders” issued by the NCP National Party on June 17, 2014 in the post-merger of the three NCP MLAs.
“I want to further make it very clear that when the three MLAs formally merged with the BJP, they had become bonafide members of that party (BJP), and then the NCP president has no locus standi to suspend another national political party which does not belong to their party,” he said.
Dr Lotha, who was first BJP Home Minister in the DAN-I Ministry, categorically stated that there was nothing wrong for them as elected members of a political party to merge with another political party as such exercise is permitted as per the “10th Schedule of the Anti-Defection Law” of the Constitution of India.
Asked why he had to leave the NCP in Nagaland, Dr Lotha said there was no future for NCP in Nagaland and they could not afford remaining as NCP MLAs when there was no future. “So after thorough deliberations, we have resolved to formally merge along with our supporters with the BJP in Nagaland for the larger interest of the people of Nagaland and the BJP,” he stated.
Asked his comment on the delay of issuing any notification to their merger claim by the Speaker, he said after submission of all the relevant documents with regard to their three NCP MLAs’ merger claim with the BJP in Nagaland to him (Speaker) on June 16, 2014, they had also provided some more additional documents as desired by him. Besides that the former NCP Office Bearers led by Imtilemba Sangtam appeared before him on June 24, 2014 to validate their credentials. “I think the ball is in his court,” he added.