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Game of Throne

by IT Web Admin
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Elected councillors of the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) have taken oath and now it is time for the number game and the selection of the chairperson and the deputy of the corporation. The ruling congress managed to bag 12 of the 27 seats with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) getting 10 and 5 independent candidates managing to win in the recently held Municipal Corporation elections which was held on June 2.
Indian National Congress (INC) being the single largest party to win the urban local body council will claim to decide on for the Mayor AKA Chairman and the deputy of the corporation.
The noteworthy matter that crop up now is how long the newly to be  selected chairperson will last, bearing in mind the fact that the anti defection law is not applicable to urban local government. The number game will turn out to be more fascinating as it can be anytime the elected councillors desert and call a no confidence motion against the chairperson!
The anti defection law was passed by the parliament in 1985 and today, 31 years later, it is pertinent to trace the several modifications and to evaluate how well this law has worked. The amendment to the constitution laid down the process which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.
Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi probably might not have been the chief minister of the state until today had the anti defection law not come into force, with dissidence amongst the congress, which seems to be growing each passing day. Some legislators have even criticised that the anti defection law impinged the right of free speech of the legislators.
There is however the need for public debate on the working of the anti defection law. There is no ambiguity in the legality of the current provisions correlated to these issues.
At this point of time, there appear to be just two political parties in Manipur, the BJP and the INC and it is important for both the parties to form the urban local government as this will be a massive manifesto as well as a mammoth winning factor for the respective parties in the forthcoming general assembly elections which is going to be held in the early part of 2017.
Odisha government in 2015 had approved introduction of anti defection law in urban local bodies and zilla parishads in a bid to disqualify members, including independent ones, who switches political parties after getting elected. The amendment states that a person winning elections as a candidate of a particular party on voluntary resigning from that party or voting against the directive of the party will lose his membership.
Since there is no anti defection provision in the existing law which are applicable to urban governments, instances of no confidence against the chairperson or vice chairperson may tend to arise which might hamper urban governance due to instability caused.
A most important decision by the Manipur unit of BJP as well as INC will certainly boost the performances in the forthcoming general assembly elections. The BJP, with just 10 of 27 seats, need to break the ice before chief minister Ibobi approves the anti defection law applicable to urban governance or Ibobi approving the anti defection law before dissidence arises within the elected INC councillors. Either way it is the game of thrones, both BJP and INC wanting not to lose.

By: Shyamsunder Haobam

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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