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Six months on, seats still vacant

Legalities delay by-polls to 7 vacant council seats

SHILLONG: Legal hurdles have delayed announcement of by-polls to the seven vacant district council seats even after six months.
An official source said that since the dual post issue is still pending with the High Court, the State government wants to wait for the verdict before deciding on the date for holding the by-polls.
It was on October 1 last year that the State government, after passing the dual post Bill, had debarred legislators from holding the post of MDCs.
Except KHADC CEM P.N. Syiem, seven other MLAs who were holding the posts of MDCs had relinquished their Council posts.
A few legislators who resigned as MDCs had cited the dual post Bill as the reason in their resignation letters.
Sources said if the post of MDCs does not fall under ‘office of profit’ as per legal interpretation, the MLAs who have already resigned as MDCs can refer to their resignation letters and seek the intervention of the Court for remedial measures. There are six vacant seats in the KHADC and one in the JHADC.
The vacant seats in KHADC are those of H.D.R. Lyngdoh (Nongspung- Sohiong), Sanbor Shullai (Laban-Mawprem), Ardent M. Basaiawmoit (Nongkrem), K.P. Pangniang (Rambrai-Jyrngam), Metbah Lyngdoh (Mairang-Nongkhlaw) and Brolding Nongsiej (Mawthadraishan).
The lone vacant seat in the JHADC is the War East constituency which was earlier held by legislator Stephanson Mukhim.
Unlike the Assembly and Lok Sabha which stipulate six months for holding elections to vacant seats, the district councils rules do not specify any deadline for holding of by-elections.

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