Thursday, July 18, 2024

VPP bats for TMC MLA as Leader of Opposition


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SHILLONG, June 21: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Friday said if there is a need for the Assembly Speaker to appoint a new leader of Opposition, then the post should go to the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The strength of the Congress in the Assembly got reduced to four after Saleng Sangma resigned as an MLA following his election to the Lok Sabha. The TMC has five MLAs while the VPP has four.
VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh said the post should ideally go to the TMC as it has five MLAs and is the largest opposition party in the state.
“If they can give (the post) to the Congress when it had five MLAs, they can also give it to the TMC which has five MLAs,” Myrboh argued.
Assembly Speaker Thomas A Sangma had on Thursday said he is examining if there is a need to appoint an MLA from the TMC as the new leader of Opposition.
Pointing out that the Congress is working together with the National People’s Party (NPP) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Myrboh said the post of the leader of Opposition should go to the real Opposition which will do the “real job” of an opposition party.
“The Congress works together with the NPP in the district council and they should be ethical enough to give the post of leader of Opposition to the real opposition,” he said.
The VPP spokesman said the incumbent leader of Opposition in the Assembly is an MDC working with the NPP at the ADC level and therefore, there is a conflict of interest for him to be the leader of Opposition from the very beginning.
“The person concerned should understand it himself without waiting for the others to point it out. Democracy cannot be successful without ethical standards being maintained. We need a real leader of Opposition and not a half-hearted one,” Myrboh said.
“When the Speaker had recognised Ronnie Lyngdoh as the leader of Opposition, there was no support from the VPP. In fact, neither the Speaker nor the Congress asked for it. We were never a part of choosing the leader of Opposition. The Speaker did it on his own with an understanding with the Congress,” Myrboh said. He added, “With regard to Opposition Chief Whip Saleng Sangma, it was not the decision of the party nor did it extend support to recognise him as the Chief Whip. It was based on a personal request by Saleng Sangma to Bah Ardent and not to the party. Therefore, there is no question of involving the VPP in the matter of the selection of the Chief Whip or the leader of Opposition.”


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