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VPP’s move to abstain raises eyebrows

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 26: The decision of the Voice of the People Party MP, Ricky AJ Syngkon to abstain from voting during the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker on Wednesday has left political leaders, analysts and social activists in Meghalaya baffled.
NEHU faculty, Prof H Srikanth said there is justification to abstain only if both the ruling and opposition are wrong.
He however said that the party should always take a stand in favour of the group which is right if the other side is wrong.
According to him, the INDIA Bloc was looking for consensus on contesting the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
He pointed out that the VPP can always oppose the INDIA Bloc on any issue.
The NEHU faculty made it clear that he was not saying that the VPP should join the INDIA Bloc. “The question here is whenever there is an issue of importance we expect the party to take a stand,” he said.
Prof Srikanth pointed out that he would like to listen to the VPP’s argument as to why they decided to take a neutral stand, before commenting further on this.
Another NEHU faculty, Prof Prasenjit Biswas said the VPP needs to carefully measure their steps.
He observed that abstaining from Lok Sabha Speaker’s election or any decision of the  Parliament will place the VPP in a position of “not going anywhere or not doing anything”.
Prof Biswas said they should really measure up to a certainly definite and well-defined position since neutrality should mean “taking the right stand for the right cause”.
The NEHU faculty also mentioned that there is a need to give some space to the VPP since it is their maiden entry in the Parliament.
“We will able to analyse the position of the party only with the passage of time,” Prof Biswas said.
Noted activist, Kyrsoibor Pyrtuh is of the view that at this juncture abstaining from voting in the election of the Speaker is both immoral and cowardly.
“I believe that nearly 50% of the votes which went in favour of the VPP in the recent Lok Sabha election were against the ‘Hindutva party’. We must keep in mind that it is the people of Meghalaya, especially the constituents of the Shillong Parliamentary seat, who yearn for the basic structure of the Constitution to be saved at all costs,” Pyrtuh said.
Another activist, Tarun Bharatiya, in a Facebook post, said he does not think that the president of an “intellectual party” like the VPP will make such a historically ignorant and stupid statement that in the name of abstention he goes on to excuse Hindu fascist’s road-rolling of parliamentary practices.
“I am sure Bah Ardent knows that till the Hindu Fascists broke the tradition, the Deputy Speaker’s post was offered to the Opposition. It was not bargaining but reminding the ruling side about the tradition,” Bharatiya said.
UDP working president, Titosstarwell Chyne said there is no justification in the decision of the VPP MP to abstain from taking part in the election of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
He said the people in the state have reacted very strongly on the social media. According to him, the people who elected the VPP MP expected him to take a stand in Parliament.
“In the parliamentary practice we expect the Lok Sabha Speaker to be neutral. If he is not taking part, it shows that he is neither with the ruling nor with the opposition alliance. Now the question is how the new Lok Sabha Speaker will feel since our MP did not participate in the election,” Chyne said.
According to him, the MP needs to maintain a cordial relation with the Lok Sabha Speaker since he will need to approach the Chair for so many things.

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