Hope lingers for Mukul as MUA-II faces no-trust today

SHILLONG: The no-confidence motion against the council of ministers headed by Mukul Sangma will be taken up on Thursday at 12 pm.
This is the second no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition against Sangma within a span of five years. In September 2011, the Mukul Sangma government had survived a no trust motion following a head count.
The current Congress-led MUA-II government has the support of 44 legislators – 30 Congress members, two NCP, 11 Independents and the lone member from North East Social Democratic Party (Lambok Mylliemngap).
The Opposition consists of eight UDP members, four from HSPDP, two from NPP and two Independents, Saleng Sangma and John Leslee Sangma. However, it is yet to be known whether Saleng and Leslee will support the Opposition during the no-confidence motion as during the by-polls to Tura Lok Sabha seat, the duo was supporting the Congress candidate.
Though the outcome of the no-confidence motion against the government may go in predictable line as the Opposition does not have the number to overthrow the government, a split in the ruling coalition can make a difference.
The Opposition and those who want to break the Congress may take refuge in the Supreme Court verdict of July this year that says a Speaker who is facing a no-confidence  motion cannot disqualify legislators if they defect and revolt against the government.
However, the government is of the view that a complaint against defectors will remain valid even if the Speaker is removed or if he is facing no-trust motion.
Earlier, after the Question Hour on Wednesday, Assembly Speaker AT Mondal announced about the letter jointly submitted by NPP’s James Sangma, HSPDP’s Ardent Basaiawmoit and UDP’s Jemino Mawthoh on September 12 under Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
The letter of the Opposition said, “This House expresses its want of confidence in the council of ministers headed by Mukul Sangma.”
The Speaker also read out the content of the letter that said the no-confidence motion against the government was moved as the present MUA government has failed on all fronts of development.
“The present MUA government has failed to maintain law and order in Meghalaya and the government is responsible for the continuous financial crisis in the State,” the letter said.
After going through the letter, the Speaker said he would consider the motion under Rule 133 provided that there are 10 members to support the motion.
After as many as 14 MLAs from the Opposition stood up supporting the motion, the Speaker admitted it and fixed the matter for discussion on Thursday at 12 pm.
The Speaker also sought the opinion of the House for suspension of other business transactions of the day due to the no-confidence motion scheduled for Thursday, which was agreed by the House.
The Speaker told reporters that he would chair the session during the no confidence motion against the Congress led MUA-II government.
Expressing confidence, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the legislators should set their priorities first as the past history of instabilities could not help the state achieve progress. “My job is to ensure that the MUA-II stands united,” Sangma added.
Former chief minister and MPCC president DD Lapang said since whip has been issued, he hoped that all the ruling members will support the government.


Party Position

MUA-II Coalition
Congress        :  30
NCP        :  2
Independent    :  11
NESDP        :  1
Total        :  44


UDP        :   8
HSPDP        :   4
NPP        :   2
Independent    :   2
Total        :   16

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