Shillong, Sep 16: The Mukul Sangma-led Congress government on Thursday got a breather as opposition parties withdrew a no-confidence motion without a vote on it, a first in the state assembly's history.
No-confidence motions moved in the past by opposition benches have always been put to vote, but Thursday's motion was an exception. The opposition legislators withdrew it after the Chief Minister's reply.
Interestingly, Independent legislators Rophul Marak and Lamboklang Mylliem (North East Democratic Socialist Party) from the treasury benches and two Independent legislators Saleng Sangma and John Leslee K. Sangma from the opposition benches were conspicuous by their absence.
Assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal said the "no-confidence motion is withdrawn" with the leave of the House after Hill State People 's Democratic Party legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, who moved the motion, withdrew it.
"It is the first time that the no-confidence motion was withdrawn without being put to vote," Mondal told the members.
"We don't have any plans to topple the government, but we only wanted the attention of the government on various issues concerning the state's people. The no-confidence motion is not a game of numbers but rather a wake-up call for the state government," Basaiawmoit said.
Supporting the no-confidence motion, opposition leader Donkupar Roy, Paul Lyngdoh, Jemino Mawthoh of the United Democratic Party besides James K. Sangma and Nihim D. Shira of the National People's Party highlighted the government "failure" on all fronts ranging from tackling crime against women and children to financial crisis in the state.
However, Congress ministers Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynosng, Zenith Sangma and Ampareen Lyngdoh, besides veteran Congress legislator D.D. Lapang, defended the Chief Minister.
Moreover, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma also brushed aside the opposition accusations.
"It is not correct to say that this government is not responsive on various issues. We are taking care of the public grievances and developmental issues," he said.