Cabinet Ministers of the MDA government while taking the coffin from the residence of Donkupar Roy for the state funeral. File image: Northeast Now

The United Democratic Party (UDP) is likely to face difficulty in choosing one among the party leaders as the successor of late Donkupar Roy.

Roy, who was the president of the UDP and Meghalaya Assembly speaker, breathed his last on July 28 following brief illness.

The veteran legislator from Shella, who won for the seventh consecutive terms since 1988, has been the president of the UDP from 2003, and speaker of the Assembly from March 12, 2018 till his death.

At present, former deputy chief minister Bindo M Lanong is the senior most leader in the UDP. The UDP also has other leaders like Paul Lyngdoh, Jemino Mawthoh who are potential of taking over the president’s post in the party.

After the 2018 Assembly elections, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government was formed by the National People’s Party (NPP) together with the UDP under the leadership of Roy and other parties with the condition that the chief minister’s post should go to the NPP and the speaker’s post to the UDP.

Following the demise of Roy, the vacant speaker’s post has to be filled by the UDP whose strength in the Assembly has been reduced to six now.

Among the six MLAs, Metbah Lyngdoh is the senior most UDP legislator who was elected for the third consecutive terms from Mairang Assembly constituency since 2008.

Out of the six MLAs, three UDP MLAs are ministers in the MDA government including Lyngdoh who is currently holding tourism portfolio.

Besides Lyngdoh, the UDP also has Lahkmen Rymbui, the two-time MLA from Amlarem constituency. But Rymbui too is holding the charge of education department.

Who will sacrifice the minister post between Lyngdoh and Rymbui to become the new speaker of the state assembly is still a big question as the UDP has not met to discuss and decide the matter.

When asked, Lyngdoh said that the UDP was unexpected that the party would lose its party president all of a sudden.

Lyngdoh, who is also the working president of the UDP, said that the party would meet soon, most probably next week to discuss the matter related to the post of president in the party.

On the speaker’s post, Lyngdoh said that he cannot say anything who from among the UDP legislators would take over the post in place.

“Everything will depend on the collective decision of the party MLAs and approval of the party as a whole,” Lyngdoh said.

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