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Meghalaya assembly speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on December 23 recognized the merger of the 12 Congress MLAs with the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

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Speaker Lyngdoh’s ruling came after examining in detail the petitions filed by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ampareen Lyngdoh for disqualification of the 12 MLAs and the comments received from all of them.

“I am satisfied that the merger of the 12 members of the Indian National Congress with the AITC is valid as provided under paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India and does not attract disqualification. I do not find any merit in the submissions made in the petitions filed by Dr Ampareen Lyngdoh and therefore, the same is hereby dismissed,” Metbah said in his order.

The 12 legislators — former chief minister Mukul Sangma, Marthon Sangma, Jimmy Sangma, Lazarus Sangma, Miani Shira, H M Shangpliang, George Lyngdoh, Winnerson Sangma, Dikkanchi Shira, Zenith Sangma, Charles Pyngrope and Shitlang Pale — had handed over the letter of merger to the speaker on November 24.

Subsequent to this, Ampareen Lyngdoh submitted the first batch of petitions against the 10 MLAs that included Mukul Sangma, Marthon Sangma, Jimmy D Sangma, Lazarus M Sangma, Miani D Shira, HM Shangpliang, George B Lyngdoh, Winnerson D Sangma, Dikkanchi D Shira and Zenith M Sangma on November 29.

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Accordingly, notices were issued from the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Secretariat to the 10 MLAs as required under Rule 7 (3)(b) of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1988.

On December 10, two more petitions were filed against Charles Pyngrope and Shitlang Pale for disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India in which notices were also issued to them.

However, upon receiving the responses from the MLAs, the speaker approved their merger with the Trinamool Congress.

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