BHOPAL: Congress demanded the “immediate” resignation of minister for water Narottam Mishra after Delhi high court dismissed his writ petition on Friday against the decision of the Election Commission of India to disqualify him for three years from contesting elections. State Congress leadership also asked the chief minister “to break his silence” on Narottam Mishra and the paid-news issue.
“After the high court’s dismissal of his petition, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should take his resignation without any further delay,” Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said.
Singh said that Mishra still has the option of going before a double bench and the Supreme Court with an appeal, but after the ECI and high court’s decision, he should step down. “He is not eligible to stay on even for a minute longer,” he said. “Today’s high court decision makes it clear that Narottam Mishra will not get any relief from the law courts after this. He should abide by the court’s decision and resign,” Singh added.
State Congress president Arun Yadav said that if the chief minister does not take Mishra’s resignation, then the governor as constitutional head of the state should remove the minister. Yadav described the high court’s decision as “victory of truth and justice”. He also asked why the chief minister is silent on the issue. “It arouses suspicion why the chief minister is silent on the issue of the ECI’s decision and the high court’s dismissal of Mishra’s petition,” Yadav said.
Party state unit chief spokesman KK Mishra targeted finance minister Jayant Malaiyya for defending Narottam Mishra on Thursday. Malaiyya had argued that even if Narottam Mishra loses his membership from the state assembly, he can remain minister for the next six months based on the provisions of Article 75(5) of the Constitution. KK Mishra countered, “If he does not remain MLA, Narottam Mishra cannot continue as minister under provisions of Article 164 (1B).”
KK Mishra specified Article 164 (1B) says that if an MLA “is disqualified for being a member of that House shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister under clause (1) for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire”.