Congress-led Meghalaya government wins trust vote

May 25th, 2009 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, May 25 (IANS) The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government of Chief Minister D.D. Lapang won the trust-vote in the state assembly Monday.
Lapang, who was sworn in as chief minister for the fifth time May 13 after nearly two months of president’s rule, won the trust motion through voice vote, while Congress legislator Charles Pyngrope was unanimously elected as the new assembly speaker.

President’s rule was imposed in the state March 19 following mounting political uncertainty after five legislators withdrew their support from the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) headed by then chief minister Donkupar Roy and announced their decision to back the Congress.

The MUA comprises of 43 legislators - 26 from the Congress, nine from the United Democratic Party (UDP), five independents and three others - in the truncated house of 59 members.

Election for the post of speaker was necessitated following the induction of former speaker and UDP legislator Bindo M. Lanong as deputy chief minister.

The trust-vote was held 12-days after Lapang was installed heading a popular government even as governor R.S. Mooshahary had given the chief minister 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the house.

In an apparent bid to keep his flock together, the chief minister accommodated several lawmakers of the Congress-led coalition as chairmen in various boards, corporations and commissions.

Thirteen legislators were chosen as parliamentary secretaries to assist 12 cabinet ministers.

Lapang also appointed former chief minister and UDP lawmaker Donkupar Roy as chairman of the state planning board with the rank and status equivalent to that of the chief minister.

Political instability is the hallmark in Meghalaya - the beautiful northeastern state of 2.3 million people, that borders Bangladesh, has seen 10 different governments with varied combinations of political parties, resulting in eight chief ministers between 1998 and 2009.

There were just two occasions when a chief minister was able to complete the full five-year term since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972.

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