Arunachal Speaker restores Assembly membership of 2 Cong MLAs

The high-voltage political drama revolving around the resignation of two Congress MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh came to an end on Friday with Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok restoring their membership in the sixth Legislative Assembly.

The Supreme Court, while disposing off a review petition filed by Congress MLAs Wanglam Sawin and Gabriel D Wangsu pertaining to their membership in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly, in its order had on 24 August had stated that parties to the litigation have agreed to the effect that the matter can be remanded to the Speaker so that it can be decided afresh after hearing the concerned parties.

“We are sure that the Speaker shall decide the matter expeditiously, preferably within one month from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” the apex court had said in its order and directed both Sawin and Wangsu to appear before the Speaker on 19 September so that the date of further hearing could be decided.

The Speaker in his order today said, “After the inquiry conducted by me by hearing the two MLAs on 19 September last and after careful application of mind to the material and law before me, I come to the conclusion that the resignation letters are not voluntary and are not genuine.”

“I therefore reject the purported resignation letters of 16 September, 2015. Sawin and Wangsu will continue as members of the Assembly from the date of their election as though nothing interrupted their membership in the House and they are entitled to their salary, allowances, pension and other amenities from the date they were denied these pecuniary and other benefits,” Thongdok said.

With the restoration of Sawin and Wangsu as members of the Assembly, the number of Congress candidates rose to three in a House of 60, while PPA has 43 MLAs, BJP (11) and two Independent members.

The Hayuliang seat fell vacant after Kalikho Pul committed suicide on 9 August last.

(With PTI inputs)

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