By Our Correspondent, TNT News | Shillong, Dec 07, 2017:
The Opposition are a divided House on the resolution moved by the Nationalist People’s Party (NPP) for the removal of Assembly Speaker AT Mondal during the Winter Assembly Session which begins on Friday.
It may be mentioned that NPP legislator, James K Sangma had tabled the resolution on the removal of Mondal on November 21.
Among the opposition parties, the HSPDP has made it very clear that they will not support the resolution on the removal of the Assembly Speaker.
When contacted, HSPDP president and Nongkrem legislator, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said that they are not in line with the idea of bringing in this resolution.
“We don’t think that this is an appropriate time to bring such resolution. As a party, we are gearing up for upcoming Assembly polls in the State. We cannot shift our focus at this juncture to any move of toppling the present Government,” Basaiawmoit said.
According to the Nongkrem legislator, the attempt to topple the Government at this point of time is not the right move at all.
“We will not be able to provide an alternate Government which will serve the interests of the people of the State,” the HSPDP president said.
Meanwhile, informed sources said that even the UDP is divided over the resolution for the removal of the Assembly Speaker.
According to sources, the party president, Dr Donkupar Roy is totally against the move to topple the Government especially when elections are round the corner.
It may be recalled that the UDP president had stated earlier that they have no plans to move a no-confidence motion against the Congress led MUA-II Government as the time is too short.
However, it is reported that the two Working Presidents of the UDP- Jemino Mawthoh and Paul Lyngdoh- are in favour in supporting the resolution moved by James K Sangma.
When contacted, both Jemino and Paul were not available for comments.
Meanwhile the NPP is trying to rope in rebels from the ruling Congress and independents to ensure the removal of the MUA-2 Government. Congress legislators PN Syiem, Prestone Tynsong, Rowell Lyngdoh, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar are set to leave the party.
If the no confidence motion is moved, it would be interesting to see whether Congress MLAs who have already decided to resign from the party to contest on NPP ticket will support the motion.
Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker, Abu Taher Mondal said that this is the third time that a no-confidence motion is being moved against him by the Opposition but he is unfazed by the move and maintained that he had no problem over this move.
He further stated that the job of the Assembly Speaker is similar to that of a referee
When asked if the Government will fall if the Speaker is removed on the floor of the House, he said that the collapse of the Speaker does not mean that the Government will also collapse.
“The Government will only fall if the no-confidence motion is moved against the Government and is adopted in the House,” Mondal said while talking to media persons here on Thursday.
It may be stated that the final session of the current House of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will be a short affair with the Business Advisory Committee deciding on a three day sitting.
As per the calendar there will be two days of government business and one day for private members’ bills.
The government business of the winter session will be taken up on December 8 and December 14 while the private members business will be taken up on December 13.
The opposition is likely to raise a number of issues in the upcoming winter session and the government is jittery with around five ruling Congress party legislators deciding to quit the party and two-independent MLAs- Robinus Syngkon and Rophul Marak already withdrawing support to the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) government.