No one can predict the fate of the12 Parliamentary Secretary, which the Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh had stated that they have already resigned following Supreme Court verdict.
The indication of the Chief Election Commission of India to a delegate of Manipur Congress MLAs during its meeting on March 16 at New Delhi showed that the CEC will act as according to the provision of the Constitution of India. This means chances of similar treatment to the 12 parliamentary secretary is high.
Hearing of the writ petition file by MLAs Surjakumar Okram and DD Thaisii, at Manipur High Court praying of annulment of the impugned Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provision ) Act 2012 is scheduled on March 27.
Recent verdict of the Supreme Court of India which stated that legislature cannot overrule judgments by amending a law retrospectively as such overrule will amount to violation of the principal of separation of powers among the three organs clearly indicate that, the Repeal Bill of the Parliamentary Secretary Act is unlikely to get consent from the governor of Manipur. This also is a worrisome for the 12 Parliamentary secretaries appointed by the state government as there seems to be no escape route for them. A petition is filed by AAP government challenging the ban for MLAs disqualified for contesting the election for 3 years. Well, whether the 12 parliamentary secretaries can once more contest if disqualified depends on the ruling of the case going on at Delhi High Court.
Speculative Analysis: If the12 MLAs are disqualified then the number of BJP and alliance MLAs will reduce to 26. Of this, 7 are from the BJP, 1 Independent, 1 from Trinamool Congress and 3 from NPF. What is more interesting is the stand of the eight congress MLAs who had joined and supported the N. Biren Singh led government. However the eight congress MLAs – Thounaojam Shyamkumar (Andro), Ginsuanhau Zou (Singhat), Ngamthang Haokip (Saitu), Yengkhom Surchandra Singh (Kakching), Oinam Lukhoi Singh (Wangoi), Sanasam Bira Singh (Kumbi), Kshetrimayum Biren Singh (Lamlai) and Paonam Brojen (Wangjing Tentha), have not been given recognition as BJP members by the state legislative assembly, neither the there is no petition to the Manipur legislative Assembly for their disqualification for violation of the 10th Scheduled of the Indian constitution (Except against Shyamkumar who is a Minister in the government, and MLA Y Shurachandra) .
If Chief Minister N. Biren Singh manage to tackle the issues by keeping intake the congress MLAs and followed the rules of law of this land. Then the number of BJP and alliance is still more than the number of Congress MLAs . Congress will be 21 and the strength of the BJP and alliance will be 26. As for the fate of the defected 8 congress MLAs, it is upto the Speaker’s tribunal to maintain the number game.
Will the Congress strike? This is what every people of the state particularly the political analysts are keenly observing. As mentioned in this column earlier, the politics in Manipur always depend on who is in power at the center. Luckily, BJP still is in power at Center and the withdrawal of the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) is not going to give any impact as the BJP led NDA’s number 314. Earlier the NDA strength was 336
The NDA had stormed to power with 336 seats in 2014, of which the BJP alone claimed 282 seats. However, a series of by polls that went against the saffron party meant that its tally in the Lok Sabha currently stands at 274 seats. When one adds the 11 allies the BJP still has by its side — Shiv Sena, JD(U), Apna Dal, LJP, SAD, RLSP, PDP, PMK, SWP, NPP and AINR Congress — the tally rises to 314.
For N. Biren Singh led government it is upto his wisdom on how to regain power even if bye election is made compulsory.
The issue of Parliamentary secretary is a serious issue and its fall out after High Court verdict will be a litmus test for N. Biren Singh government.