MDA at crossroads after Roy’s death

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance seems to be at the crossroads as far as filling up the post of Assembly Speaker is concerned.
The death of former Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy, who was considered as the architect of MDA coalition, has created a vacuum for both UDP and the MDA in terms of guidance and direction.
The UDP is unable to decide on the party’s candidate for the post of the Speaker though it does not want to give up the post to any other political party in the ruling coalition.
Both the UDP and the United Progressive Front (UPF) comprising PDF, NCP and an independent are planning to project their own candidates for the top post.
The UDP and the newly formed UPF- a coalition within the MDA, have six MLAs each.
However, the NPP leader and Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong has downplayed the bickering by claiming that they will arrive at a consensus on the matter.
Talking to media persons on Friday, Tynsong expressed optimism that the MDA coalition will definitely get a consensus on the issue of the Assembly Speaker.
While the UDP is adamant that the post of the Speaker should go to the party, the UPF has made it clear that the coalition has its own candidate for the post.
However, Tynsong maintained that there is no confusion or any problem in the coalition in deciding the candidate for the post of the Speaker.
Referring to the statement of the UPF that it has its own candidate to project, Tynsong said the partners have the right to do so and the MDA will decide collectively on the issue very soon and will definitely come to a consensus.
“We will not claim for the post, we will sit down and create a consensus,” he said while denying that it is a difficult task to bring consensus among the alliance partners to select a candidate for the post of Speaker.
According to Tynsong, the MDA will meet before the commencement of the Assembly session for discussing the candidate for the post of the Speaker.
Earlier, Urban Affairs Minister and People’s Democratic Front (PDF) MLA Hamlet Dohling had castigated the UDP for insisting that the post of the Speaker should go to the latter.
He had maintained that the MDA is the best platform to decide on the matter.

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