Empty treasury kicks up row in Meghalaya House
SHILLONG, June 4 – Empty Treasury benches today kicked up a row in Meghalaya Assembly, with the Speaker forced to defer a government resolution after a confusion over ‘voice vote’.
When Speaker Charles Pyngrope called the “House to order” after an hour’s break at 1 pm, except for the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, the Treasury benches were empty, while the Opposition was present almost in its full strength.
As Pyngrope called upon Home Minister H D R Lyngdoh to lay an important notification related to affairs in Garo Hills Autonomous District (GHADC), he was seen scurrying towards his chair just in time.
As he put the government resolution for approval of the order vide the notification for a voice vote, the House clearly tied with eleven members on both sides. Amid the din of ‘ayes’ and ‘noes’, the Speaker ruled that the ruling party had won following which the entire Opposition was up on their feet to protest.
Opposition members, including P A Sangma and his legislator sons Conrad (Leader of Opposition) and James claimed that they had more members than the Treasury during the voice vote.
By then the Treasury benches began to be occupied as members from the ruling side started coming in and the Speaker once again called for a voice vote.
Protesting the Speaker’s move, P A Sangma said, “When put to voice vote, the Treasury was not in majority, but Opposition was. The resolution is important because GHADC has been kept under suspension and Governor’s rule and members are being kidnapped”.
Amid the chaos, Pyngrope announced that since there was a difference of opinion over the number of members present during the voice vote, he has deferred laying of the resolution to Monday. – PTI