From CK Nayak
New Delhi: An all party delegation of Meghalaya Ministers and MLAs, led by Speaker AT Mondal, during their courtesy call on President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday were in for a pleasant surprise.
The legislators had thought that their first meeting with the President would begin with niceties and end with tea and snacks.
However, to the surprise of all, President Mukherjee, a veteran former Congress leader and an old hand on North East affairs, gave them a ‘3-D’ mantra to become successful and effective legislators – debate followed by dissent and finally decision.
“Any legislator should debate and respect dissent,” Mukherjee told the delegation, adding that the legislator and the House should finally take a decision for the benefit of the state and its people, sources in the Rashtrapati Bhawan told The Shillong Times after the meeting.
The President congratulated the newly elected MLAs most of whom are new faces. He stated that as legislators they have manifold responsibilities and they are the face of the people living in their constituencies.
He advised them that it was important that they should attend Assembly sessions regularly and also maintain discipline and adhere to the code of conduct of the Assembly.
He stated that it was crucial that the Assembly was allowed to discharge its business without any disruptions.
The MLAs and ministers were visibly taken by surprise at this informal attitude of the highest constitutional authority of the country.
The delegation is leaving the national capital for Shillong on Thursday.