Four rebel MLAs disqualified in Meghalaya State Assembly

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Shillong, April 9 (ANI): Meghalaya Speaker B. M. Lanong on Thursday disqualified four MLAs who had withdrawn support to the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) before the trust vote (March 17), which the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) survived with the casting of vote by the Speaker.

Deputy Speaker and Nationalist Congress Party MLA Sanbor Shullai, the lone MLA of Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) Paul Lyngdoh and independents Limison Sangma and Ismail Marak incurred disqualification under the 10th Schedule and thereby ceased to be members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly with immediate effect, Lanong said.

The four of the five rebel MLAs, who had deserted the MPA and reduced it to a minority from 32 to 27 members in the 60-member assembly.

The MPA, however, survived the trust vote on March 17 with the casting vote of the Speaker, who had invalidated the votes of the four rebel MLAs.

One of the rebel MLAs, Hill State Peoples Democratic Party's Advisor Pariong, had gone mysteriously gone missing prior to the trust vote. But having skipped the Trust Vote, he resurfaced and later returned to the MPA.

President's Rule was imposed in the state on March 19 after the Governor R S Mooshahary cited a 'constitutional breakdown'.

The disqualification on Wednesday night comes as a blow to the Congress, which had last week staked claim to form the government, parading 31 MLAs, including the four rebel MLAs, before the Governor.

The Governor, "convinced at the Congress' claim", was understood to have recommended the Centre to revoke President's Rule.

However, given Wednesday's disqualification, Congress' strength has now come down to 27.

The MPA too has 27 members, including the Speaker, with two of the legislators of the MPA-constituent United Democratic Party resigning from the party as well as assembly last week. (ANI)

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