Mizoram guv seeks ECI opinion on disqualification of minister over office of profit case
Aizawl, March 19: Mizoram Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati has sought the opinion of the Election Commission of India (ECI) on a petition seeking disqualification of minister Robert Romawia Royte for allegedly holding “office of profit,” an official said on Sunday.
The petition was filed by the main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) which claimed Royte is holding ‘office of profit’ by owning a consultancy firm that worked on several contracts under the state government in violation of the Representation of People (RP) Act.
Royte holds various portfolios including sports and tourism as a minister of state in the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by Chief Minister Zoramthanga. He has also been recently allotted District Council and Minority Affairs portfolio.
Despite repeated attempts, Royte could not be contacted for comment.
The official said, “In his letter to the ECI written last week, the governor urged it to examine the petition filed by the ZPM in February.” The ZPM alleged in its petition that Royte, the sole owner of North East Consultancy Services (NECS), has been running the firm and paying Goods and Service Tax even after he was elected to the state legislature in 2018.
The petition alleged that the NECS entered into a subsisting contract with the District Council and Minority Affairs department in June 2022 for execution of works under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) scheme for two years, which contravened provisions of the RP Act.
PMJVK, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, is implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, with the objective to develop infrastructure projects in identified areas.
The petition of ZPM also claimed that Royte has concealed in his affidavit the ongoing projects undertaken by his firm while filing nomination for the 2018 assembly election. (PTI)