Opposition withdraws resolution to remove Meghalaya Speaker

Shillong, Sep 16 (IANS) Meghalaya’s opposition parties on Friday withdrew the resolution seeking removal of Speaker Abu Taher Mondal in the concluding day of autumn session.

The resolution against the removal of the Speaker was supposed to be taken up on Friday before the prorogation of the assembly.

However, Mondal informed the legislators that he had received a letter from National People’s Party (NPP) legislator James Sangma informing him that he had withdrawn the resolution.

Sangma did not cite any reason for withdrawing the resolution.

The withdrawal of the resolution came a day after Hill State People’s Democratic Party legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit withdrew a no-confidence motion against the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government before it could be put to vote — a first in the state assembly’s history.

The no-confidence motion was moved by Basaiawmoit and supported by United Democratic Party and National People’s Party.

“We have brought a no-confidence motion against the government and withdrew it after raising various issues in the House. After a second thought, we decided to withdraw the resolution against the Speaker as the situation demands,” Opposition leader Donkupar Roy told IANS.

On September 9, the assembly had admitted a resolution brought by James Sangma, accusing Mondal of having failed to carry out his duties and responsibilities as Speaker.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the opposition withdrew the resolution against the Speaker after members of the House had an “effective debate” (on the no-confidence motion) on Thursday.

“It is obvious there was no further need to have any other debate (on the resolution to remove the Speaker) which would only negate the positive outcome of Thursday’s debate,” Sangma told journalists.

Reacting to the withdrawal of the resolution, Speaker Mondal said: “I am looking forward to work towards fulfilling the aspirations of all my colleagues in the House.

“I will interact with all the members so that I will also know the commissions and omissions while performing my duties as the head of the legislature,” he added.

However, it is evident that the opposition parties did not want to embarrass themselves with the resolution as the members of ruling Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government have decided to support Mondal in case the resolution is put to vote.

In the 60-member assembly, the ruling Meghalaya United Alliance comprises 29 Congress members barring the Speaker, two of the Nationalist Congress Party and 11 Independents and one member of the North East Socialist Democratic Party.

The opposition MPF comprises eight United Democratic Party legislators and two from the Nationalist People’s Party.

The opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party, which has four members, and two Independents are not part of the Meghalaya People’s Front.

–IANS

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