Speakers Removal: Defects in 10th Schedule
The motion of no-confidence against the Speaker or Deputy Speaker of Parliament or State Assemblies or any elected bodies arises only during extra-ordinary situations, warranting removal of the Speaker of the House, who is found guilty in flagrant violation of rules and procedures of conducting the proceedings of the House or when he is found transparently taking sides with any person or group of persons or parties in his performance as a non-partisan umpire inside the House.
At least in two previous occasions, such incidents in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly have gone or record, due to defects in the 10th Schedule, para-5, (a) providing exemption from disqualification of an elected member who has been elected as Speaker or Deputy Speaker, “If he………..voluntarily gives up the membership of the political party to which he belonged, immediately before such election……” This vital legislation, to me, should leave no room for choice or ambiguity, but should be clearly mandatory for those elected to such non-partisan offices, to vacate or resign as member of their political parties, immediately within 24 hours after such election.
Paragraph 5 (b) protects them to rejoin their parties whenever they cease to occupy the above offices. Metbah Lyngdoh the present Speaker and all other Speakers continue to be members of their respective political parties due to the above glaring defects in the Constitution, which should be rectified through amendment at the earliest.
In 1991, the then Speaker, Mr PR Kyndiah in his understanding of Para 7 of this Schedule, which says “……..no court shall have any jurisdiction in respect of any matter connected with the disqualification of a member of a House under this Schedule,” disqualified 5 Independent members of the House, under paragraph 2 (2) of the Schedule ibid.
Another order of the then Speaker E D Marak in December 2001, which was clearly prejudicial to Constitutional obligations, was his denial of opportunity to the then Chief Minister, E K Mawlong, to reply to the No-Confidence Motion tabled by the Opposition Congress against him, on allotment of contract to AHLC for construction works in Meghalaya House, Russell Street, Kolkata.
The No-Confidence motion tabled by the Opposition against the Speaker this time has baffled many, since no specific reason was mentioned, although after revising their stand it appears they have retracted the No-confidence motion. Even this has gone on record.
Superficial concerns & opportunistic politics
The recent massive public outcry and protests against the blatant violation by coke plants in and around Elaka Sutnga is an indicator that they could continue to operate with the “blessings” of those sitting on their political chairs in the Secretariat and this has once again portrayed how so-called Christian values that they preach in public functions seem to go down the drain. Every religion teaches one to respect, preserve and enrich nature which is God given. Unfortunately, those loaded to the brim have least concern for others and the greatest sin is not hating another fellow being but showing total indifference to their needs. None of the MLAs from Jaintia Hills have dared to raise the plight of the those having to suffer. It is unfortunate that they shamelessly call themselves public representatives when they do not voice the concerns of people. Only time will tell whether they still deserve another chance.
Another “shocking” message sent by the ruling NPP to the detractors of the MDA Government is that loyalists will be rewarded. The appointment of Ernest Mawrie – a vocal critic of the NPP over corruption – as yet another advisor to the Chief Minister means that the BJP now is totally compromised. Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows and this has been reflected by the opportunistic politics played by the State BJP President. From the time Mawrie assumed charge he has been speaking out against all the misdeeds of the MDA coalition. We now know he did all this because he wanted power. He has achieved his aspirations. The BJP will now need a new calling card to rename itself. Wearing the mantle of advisor in the list of areas given makes everyone wonder how Mawrie has suddenly become an “expert” in tourism and other areas of governance. Of course, the CM always has the last laugh. The BJP’s fake claims about clean and good governance is a now well and truly exposed.
Dominic Stadlin Wankhar
India’s non-committal climate commitment
It is not right to pressurize a developing country like India to commit to a net zero goal. This is because developing and poor nations cannot afford to sacrifice poverty-alleviating growth. Also, the West is not willing to fund climate-friendly growth in these countries. This is the context in which the US special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry expressed his opinion about India’s commitment on net zero. When asked about India’s commitments on raising climate ambitions, John Kerry said, “No one said no, but no one said yes.”
In fact, the US does not want to pressure India to commit to a net zero goal. India has not yet given a commitment date for achieving carbon neutrality or net zero. In contrast, about 130 countries have set or are considering a target of net zero by 2050, including the US. Another five have set later dates. China, the world’s largest emitter has set 2060 as its date for carbon neutrality.
Kerry said that the US will assist India in hitting 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Climate cooperation between India and the US will help in technology development and implementation partnership between the two countries. Every country does not have to do what the developed countries are doing. On the other hand, every country has to lay out a plan on what their energy sector is going to be and how it can be net zero. India is expected to make big announcements before the Glasgow summit.
The US must adopt a give and take approach to climate action. In fact, the US needs to give more than take. It must make investments in developing countries for climate action and green energy transition.