NCP defeats Cong nominee in Dy Speaker's election

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Shillong, May 12 (UNI) Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) candidate and NCP legislator Sanbor Shullai today won the election of the Meghalaya Deputy Speaker by a solitary vote.

He defeated Opposition Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) candidate and Congress legislator Lahkmen Rymbui to clinch the deputy speaker's post.

The ruling NCP supported five party Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) has a total strength of 32 members, including the Speaker, in the 60-member House.

Interestingly, the NCP-United Democratic Party (UDP)-led MPA coalition government has 32 members against 28 of the Congress-led Opposition MUA. The Assembly Speaker doesn't vote except in case of a tie.

The four votes that were found to be invalid points to the fact that both the candidates failed to enjoy complete support within their own camps.

MPA chief whip Adolf Lu Hitler R Marak told UNI, ''everything will be clear very soon when we take stock of the situation. Let's not jump into a conclusion.'' There are first time legislators, who may have made mistakes while ticking, Mr Marak said.

However, Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition D D Lapang, senior leaders of the MPA and MUA said the four invalid votes were intentional.

''Well, there are many new legislators but all the votes during the Speaker's election were found to be valid. So, how come four votes were invalid today?'' he stated.

It may be mentioned the MPA came to power following controversial political circumstances, and then clinched the Speaker's post unopposed.

Speaker Bindo Lanong, who presided over the election, welcomed his deputy, whom he described as a mass leader and a man of energy.

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