House misses Roy: MLAs pay tribute

Ampareen and Hamlet remember their mentor

SHILLONG: The absence of Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy, who passed away on July 28, was felt with the MLAs paying eloquent tribute to the late leader on the opening day of the autumn session of the Assembly on Friday.
During the obituary reference, cutting across party lines, the legislators remembered his contribution.
The Assembly also observed silence for two minutes in memory of Roy and other departed political leaders.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the last six months have been the darkest time for political families across party lines where the country lost as many as 23 prominent leaders who were of very high stature and who contributed to the state and nation as a whole. 
Speaking about late Roy and his contributions as a Speaker and MLA, Conrad said, “The loss to this House has been the biggest.”
“He was a man of few words, he would never hesitate to call a spade a spade, he was a person who never breaks his words. He always believed in loyalty,” he said.
Conrad said he was a father figure who guided everybody across party lines and he was never biased even against the first timers. 
He said late Roy played an important and significant role in the MDA as an architect and father who created the MDA.
Conrad added that Roy ensured that there was good understanding among the partners and laid foundation for a strong MDA.
Conrad also remembered the contribution of former Tikrikilla MLA Michael Sangma.
Recalling his association with BJP member Arun Jaitley, Conrad said he was very helpful and diplomatic.
Conrad recalled that Jaitley accepted the appointment sought by him despite his ill-health and he was able to clear the pending payments.
Conrad also said he was an intellectual man as he spoke with facts and figures.
Speaking about Sushma Swaraj, Conrad described her as warm and approachable and added that he called him her son.
He also remembered NPP MLA from Arunachal Pradesh Tirong Aboh who was killed by certain groups and said that he was very young and humorous person who would present difficult position in humorous manner.
As for Congress leader Sheila Dixit, Conrad recalled that she was approachable and loving, committed to her work and political party. He remembered her as a chief minister who transformed Delhi through metros and games village. 
He described former CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar as a very humble person. Referring to a magazine he read about Parrikar, Conrad recalled that he was a man who separated his personal and official expenditures.
Speaking about Roy, Deputy Speaker Timothy Shira said, “I feel that he is still here”.
He also paid tribute to Michael, Sheila Dixit, Sushma Swaraj and other departed leaders. 
Leader of Opposition and Congress MLA Mukul Sangma also paid homage to some of the departed political leaders of the state and the country.
Taking part in the obituary reference, Mukul said as an independent MLA he was closely associated with Roy in 1993, at a time when there was a perception that independent MLAs cannot be inducted as Cabinet Ministers as it would attract disqualification under 10th schedule.
It was eventually corrected and it resulted in the induction of independent MLAs FA Khonglam and Sujit Sangma.
Mukul recalled that late Roy was also disqualified as MLA once but the position was restored. 
Speaking about late Michael , Mukul remembered him as a contented and happy man.
“He told me it is fine even if the Congress ticket for the 2018 Assembly elections was not given to him”, Mukul said.  
As for the demise of Congress leader Sheila Dixit, Mukul said he used to share his concerns with her, especially about the problems faced by the students studying in Delhi and lauded her for the transformation she brought about in the Delhi capital. 
Commenting on former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Mukul said when Jaitley served as the union minister of commerce and industries, Mukul showed Jaitley a proposal for development of road infrastructure in border areas.
“I received a positive response after one week and fulfilled the needs of the state”, Mukul said. 
BJP leader and Health and Family Welfare Minister, AL Hek while recalling Roy said that in 2008 when he was the PHE Minister in MDA Government, Dr Roy who was the Chief Minister wanted to transfer the SDO from Sohra to Shella.
He however despite being a Chief Minister did not used his authority and instead request Hek to transfer the officer which reveals his humble personality.
Recalling his experience with Sushma Swaraj, he said that sometime ago, 4-5 girls had completed their MBBS course from few foreign countries but their degrees were not recognized by MCI
When Hek took up the matter with Swaraj, Swaraj immediately called up the concern department to conduct a test for the girls and once they qualified in the test, their degrees were recognized.
UDP Minister Metbah Lyngdoh said Roy was a man who talked less.
“He never showed a face of argument or fight and instead used to respond with a smiling face. I salute him for his integrity and principle”, he said.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Saleng Sangma observed that Roy was the last standing leader of a regional party. BJP leader Sanbor Shullai recalled that he was associated with him since 1988 as youth wing leader of Hill People’s Union (HPU).
Taking a dig at Congress leader PC Chidambaram who was in the news for the scandal in the INX media case, Shullai said Chidambaram is serving the kingdom of evil in Tihar jail while Jaitley and Swaraj are serving in God’s kingdom.
Others who spoke were Congress MLAs Zenith Sangma, George Lyngdoh, Himalaya Shangpliang, Independent MLA Lambor Malngiang, Cabinet Minister and UDP MLA Lahkmen Rymbui, UDP MLA Nujorki Sungoh, BJP Minister AL Hek, NPP MLA Rakkam Sangma and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator Adelbert Nongrum.
Two former UDP members Ampareen Lyngdoh and Hamlet Dohling recalled the association they had with former Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker and UDP stalwart, late Donkupar Roy.
The two paid their tributes during the obituary reference at the autumn session on Friday.
Currently a Congress MLA, Ampareen Lyngdoh credited late Assembly Speaker Donkupar Roy for paving her the way to the political arena.
She said, “He was the man who gave me the ticket to enter politics.”
Again, she said that Roy had “great foresight for the survival of regional forces.” She added that Roy ensured that there has to be a unique regional presence of Meghalaya in the nation.
Late Roy was also known as one of the regional political leaders who have been very vocal about strengthening of regional forces.
She recalled that Roy was a humble, simple and quiet person but forceful individual.
Lyngdoh also observed that Roy had pioneered the government with great art. 
On the other hand, she also recalled the contribution of “great women leaders”- Sheila Dixit and Sushma Swaraj. 
Dohling who is holding a ministerial berth under Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and an MLA from People’s Democratic Front (PDF) remembered his heated debate with Roy on being denied a ticket to contest the 2018 Assembly elections.
He said that Roy kept smiling even when Dohling argued. Roy had told him not to worry but to work hard and win. He informed it was Roy who prodded Hamlet to enter politics.
When Dohling was eventually elected as MLA from PDF, Roy had told him, “My sins and your sins are washed away in this House.”

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