Mukul Sangma
Opposition leader Mukul Sangma addressing the meeting at Shillong on Wednesday. Image credit - Northeast Now

The Opposition has decided to field two-time Congress MLA, Winnerson D. Sangma as its candidate for the Speaker’s post in Meghalaya Assembly.

Sangma’s name was unanimously chosen by Congress legislators during the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting at the residence of leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma on Wednesday night.

In the last election to the Speaker’s post, Winnerson was also the candidate of the Opposition, but he lost to Dr Donkupar Roy, who was elected as Speaker on March 12, 2018.

The Speaker’s post fell vacant due to the demise of Donkupar Roy.

The Congress has 19 MLAs whereas the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) has the strength of 40 MLAs.

On the numbers stacking against the Opposition for the Speaker’s election, the leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma said, “Politics is like a game of chess. We are putting up our candidate to win.”

He said the House should get the Speaker, who maintains neutral and uphold the spirit of neutrality.

“As Opposition, we have chosen the candidate, who belongs to our party, but is versatile and can play the role of neutrality as Speaker,” said Mukul Sangma.

Mukul Sangma said the CLP also discussed a number of issues to be taken up by the Opposition in the upcoming autumn session of the State Assembly starting from September 6.

“Various issues will be taken up by members in the form of motion, zero hour, and others keeping the interest of the people of the State,” he said.

He informed that policy decisions taken by the Centre including uncertainty related to special status to the Northeast, drugs menace and environment issues including plastic menace would be raised in the Assembly session.

Other issues not attended to by government would also be raised in the Assembly, he said.

Mukul Sangma said issues like non-release of funds, delay of payment, national games to be hosted by the state, teachers’ problems, flood problems and deficiencies related to flood relief would also be raised.

He also spoke about discrimination of different sections of people by the government and denying of opportunities to people who look for jobs beyond white collar job.

“Pending bills are not paid, but when paid, it was selective.”

“We have fought for hosting the national games but now there are lots of questions about preparations, and whether we will be able to host the games in 2022,” the leader of Opposition said.

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