Seven MLAs should have continued till 2019: Prestone

State awaits 6th Schedule amendment to end dual posts

SHILLONG: After the council by-polls got over, District Council Affairs Minister Prestone Tynsong, pointing out the example of KHADC chief P.N Syiem who is still holding the dual posts, said on Tuesday that the seven legislators should have continued to hold the posts of MDCs.
“There was no bar on the part of MLAs to continue to hold the posts of MDCs if one goes by the example of the KHADC chief since the Election Commission ruled that there was no ‘office of profit’ angle in MLAs holding the post of MDCs,” Tynsong told reporters.
Prestone said he is unaware of the reason that prompted the MLAs to resign as MDCs.
He also said even if some MDCs contest and win the Assembly polls in 2018, they need not relinquish the posts of MDCs at least till 2019 in line with the case of the KHADC chief.
However, the District Council Affairs Minister cautioned that once the Centre approves the pending amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, this will ultimately ensure that one person can hold only one elected post.
He said the State will have to wait for the passing of the amendment to the Sixth Schedule to prevent dual posts and also the recurring district council by-elections if the MDCs get elected to the Assembly.
“We had followed up the matter with the Centre and the Chief Secretary had also met the concerned officials in Delhi,” Tynsong said while adding that all district councils had submitted their views on the amendment.
According to Tynsong, besides ending the dual posts, the amendment will also ensure increase in the number of seats in the councils and also an effective anti-defection law.
“In the absence of an anti-defection law, the councils have now become sort of party less due to the shifting of allegiance of members who were elected from various political parties,” Tynsong said.
Prestone, however, justified the government enacting the dual posts Act, 2015, by saying, “The original prevention of disqualification (Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Act, 1972, was meant only for legislators and there was no need to include CEMs or MDCs of councils in the Act. Hence we deleted the entry No. 9 of the Schedule related to MDCs in the Prevention of Disqualification (Members of Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya) Act, 1972, which was very much necessary since the councils are totally different entities under the Constitution of India.”

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