18 May, 2021

Rolling Stone... Stopped

Disqualified Congress-turned-BJP legislator T.S. Singh of Manipur
Rolling Stone... Stopped

In the fickle world of Indian politics, Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. In 2017, just after winning the assembly elections from Andro constituency in Manipur, Shyamkumar had defected from the Congress to the BJP, and helped the saffron party form its first government in this northeastern state. A few days ago, the honeymoon ended when assembly speaker Y. Khemchand Singh disqualified Shyamkumar, the state’s forest and environment minister, as a member of the House with immediate effect till the expiry of the assembly’s current term on March 28, 2022. The speaker’s order came days after the Supreme Court invoked the Constitution’s Article 142 to disqualify Shyamkumar as an MLA.

Shyamkumar’s defection had set off high drama in 2017 when the BJP raced to form the government despite winning just 21 seats compared to Congress’s 28. The BJP also found support from four MLAs of the National People’s Party and the sole Lok Janshakti Party legislator, besides independents. In the 60-member house, the...

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