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Budget Session 2024: Opposition MLAs raises question but fails to participate

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Former CM Mukul Sangma raised question on political appointment but failed to participate

Shillong, Feb 21: The frequent absence of senior elected legislators from the opposition bench during the ongoing budget session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly has sparked concerns about their seriousness as public leaders who have been elected to voice the people’s unheard voices on the floor of the house.

On day four of the budget session, former Chief Minister and MLA from Songsak, Dr. Mukul Sangma’s starred question was lapsed by the Speaker of the House, Thomas A. Sangma, due to his absence for the session.

Dr. Mukul was supposed to raise a question to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma regarding the political appointees appointed by the government to date.

On day three, the question raised by Voice of the People Party (VPP) MLA from North Shillong, Adilbert Nongrum, was also skipped by the Speaker due to his absence. MLA Nongrum was present throughout the entire session, but he left the house just when his starred question was raised.

The question supposed to be raised by VPP MLA was regarding the alleged manhandling of police personnel towards VPP MLA from Mawlai, Brightstarwell Marbaniang, during the recent protest held by the VPP to protest on the removal of Meghalaya Lokayukta officials.

Ironically, the VPP-elected MLAs have always questioned the limitations of time during the session hours, which compel them to take to the streets and raise their issues.

Recently, in a meeting at Mawlai, MLA Adilbert Nongrum publicly expressed his desire to bring up the case relating to the Mawlai MLA in the House. However, when his question was tabled for discussion, the MLA chose to be absent.

Many eyebrows are raised with concerns about the ‘divided’ opposition bench. When MLA Adilbert tabled a Private Members Bill to amend the existing Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, half of the opposition and two of the VPP senior MLAs, including president Ardent M. Basaiawmoit and Mawryngkneng MLA Heaving Stone Kharpran, were missing.

The Leader of Opposition (LO) Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, before the start of the budget session, wrote letters to other opposition parties to work together during the assembly session. However, the VPP has chosen to function independently and will only work with other opposition parties on certain issues.

Also Read: Wild elephants damage tourism property at Darechikgre near Tura

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