Speaker directs MLAs to submit evidence on their switch to BJP & SKM

Speaker directs MLAs to submit evidence on their switch to BJP & SKM
Tue, Nov 5, 2019

‘Technically, the 12 are still SDF MLAs in Assembly’

GANGTOK: Speaker L.B. Das on Monday directed the 12 MLAs from SDF party who have joined other political parties to submit relevant documents authenticating their new political affiliations before the next Assembly session.
Ten MLAs from the SDF party had joined the BJP earlier this year followed by two more SDF MLAs switching over to the ruling SKM party.
All required documents along with a petition are to be submitted before sitting of the next Assembly session, directed the Speaker while addressing the House.
It was the first sitting of the Assembly after the bye-election and had been convened for affirmation of the three newly elected MLAs – Chief Minister P.S. Golay from SKM along with Sonam Tshering Venchungpa and Y.T. Lepcha from BJP.
With the electoral victory of Venchungpa and Lepcha, the BJP has now 12 members but till endorsed by the Speaker, the BJP officially has only two MLAs who won the bye-elections. The remaining 10 MLAs, on technical grounds, are still recognised in the Assembly as legislators from the SDF, it was informed by the Assembly secretariat.
A same view from the Sikkim Legislative Assembly exists for the two SDF MLAs who joined the ruling SKM due to incomplete documentation.
Das informed the House that he has received separate applications from the 12 MLAs which did not have the necessary supporting documents. Accordingly, the seating arrangements of the members done today were a temporary measure.
As informed by the Sikkim Legislative Assembly secretariat, any member who leaves his party or forms new party has to submit to the Speaker a petition in writing with supporting evidence. The documents required are resignation from the original party, response from the original party and acceptance from the new party. These documents are examined by the Speaker before taking a decision.
However, no such documents were submitted to the Speaker and only a handwritten application was made while seeking a separate seating arrangement in the House.
In the case of the BJP MLAs, they were asking for a seating arrangement as BJP legislature party in the House.
The joining of the SDF MLAs to the BJP and SKM have been widely recorded in media but as the Assembly secretariat officials point out, the Speaker has no jurisdiction in party matters happening outside the Assembly. Hence, there is a ‘status quo’ on the political affiliation of the 12 SDF MLAs.
When asked about this by media, BJP MLA and spokesperson Raj Kumari Thapa said the party MLAs have prepared the relevant documents and would be submitting to the Speaker within the given time.
BJP MLA Ugen T Gyatso Bhutia added the documents would be submitted to the Speaker.
Pointed out that they are still SDF MLAs in the Assembly on technical grounds, Bhutia said: “We have left SDF after making a resolution. Only small technical mismatch are there but there are no other problems.”

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi