Sangma formally returns to Meghalaya Assembly

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Shillong, Mar 11 (UNI) Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP MLA P A Sangma today formally returned to Meghalaya politics as member of the eighth 60-member Assembly for the second time.

In 1988, Mr Sangma returned to Meghalaya politics as the Chief Minister of the Congress-led coalition government, but two years later his government was toppled.

This time, he returned to state politics with a pledge to ensure political and economic development of the state.

Mr Sangma quit as member of the Lok Sabha yesterday and was administered the oath of office and secrecy today.

His second return assumed significance with his two scions James and Conrad K Sangma following his footsteps in the Assembly.

The junior Sangma's said it was a unique occasion to take oath in the Assembly along with their father.

''Coming to Meghalaya Legislative Assembly after a gap of 20 years is like homecoming to me'', Mr Sangma said, soon after Pro-tem Speaker H S Lyngdoh adjourned the House sine dine.

Eulogising the standard of debates in Meghalaya Assembly over the past years, the nine-time MP member said he wanted the same practices of Parliament be followed in the Meghalaya Assembly, barring members shouting in the well of the House.

''I want even the ministers to participate in the debate on relevant issues in the House for a healthy democracy as at present only the opposition members are vocal on many issues,'' Mr Sangma stated.

Mr Sangma, who missed the 125-year-old structure that housed the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, which was gutted in January 9, 2001 said, ''We (legislators) have to see that there is a good House for legislators and that the construction of the House should start at the earliest''.

Presently, the Assembly sessions are held at the Arts and Culture auditorium within the premises Brookside, the house in Meghalaya where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore began writing his 'Shesher Kobita' in 1919.

Earlier, soon after the oath taking ceremony, Chief Minister DD Lapang went to Mr Sangma's table in House and congratulated him for his return to state politics.

UNI RRK KK/src1836

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