The autumn session of the Meghalaya Assembly beginning on Friday is expected to be stormy with the combined opposition Meghalaya People’s Front (MPF) bringing in a no-confidence motion against Speaker Abu Taher Mondal.
The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government is to table a resolution in the Assembly session to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act, 2014.
The government is expected to introduce the Meghalaya Residents Safety Security Bill, 2016, which will verify tenants and prevent criminals from finding shelter in the state and enhancement of corpus contingency fund from Rs 105 crore to Rs 205 crore to meet the increasing expenses of the state government during the five-day assembly session.
Opposition Chief Whip James Sangma said that the opposition has served a no-confidence motion against the Speaker, as he had "failed in his post".
This motion – the second – against Mondal is likely to be taken up in the session. Earlier, on March 25, 2015, Mondal had survived a no-confidence motion.
"He (Mondal) has failed miserably as the head of the legislature to ensure that the legislative pillar of democracy is a vibrant strong, effective and productive institution," Sangma, of the National People’s Party (NPP)."
"The fact that Meghalaya has been constantly facing so many problems in terms of law and order, particularly crimes against women and children, fiscal mismanagement which has resulted in financial crisis that the state is facing and many other issues," he added.
The opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), which has four members in the assembly, has decided to support the no-confidence motion against Mondal.
"We will support the no-confidence motion as the party has been maintaining its stand from day one against a non-indigenous person holding the office of the presiding officer of the assembly," HSPDP legislator, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, said.
The Congress Legislature Party has already issued a three-line whip to all its 30 legislators directing them to be present during the session.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said all members of the House must know their priorities and the important issues before the State and the time available to them in the Assembly must be utilized for the benefit of the State.
"If they think that their agenda is to help the State, I leave it to their wisdom to decide," he said.
In the 60-member assembly, the ruling Meghalaya United Alliance comprises 30 Congress members, two of the Nationalist Congress Party and 11 Independents.
The MPF comprises eight United Democratic Party legislators and two from Nationalist People’s Party.
The Hill State People’s Democratic Party, which has four members and two Independents, also opposes the government but is not part of the MPF.