Nongrum in trouble; 4 ruling MDCs ‘defect’

No-confidence motion moved against KHADC CEM

KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum replies during Question Hour on the first day
of the Council’s budget session on Monday. (UB)

SHILLONG: The Adelbert Nongrum-led Executive Committee in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) is in trouble with four ruling ARPA members allegedly switching allegiance to the Congress-led Opposition KHUDA which moved a no-confidence motion against the EC on the first day of the Council’s budget session on Monday.
It was a surprising move by the Opposition Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA) led by the Congress to move the no-confidence motion against the Nongrum-led EC considering that they had continuously denied such a move.
What was even more surprising was the revelation by informed sources that four MDCs from the ruling All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA) have pledged their allegiance to the Opposition KHUDA.
According to the sources, the Opposition has already constituted the People’s Democratic Forum (PDF) after the four MDCs allegedly pledged support to KHUDA on Saturday.
“All the four MDCs have assured their support to the new coalition in writing which was formed during a secret meeting held on Saturday,” the sources informed on Monday.
With this the strength of the Opposition in the 30-member House has risen to 15, a number big enough to topple the four-month-old Executive Committee headed by Nongrum who took over the reins of the KHADC from Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit on October 8 last year.
Meanwhile, adding fuel to speculations, the sources revealed that the Opposition has offered the CEM’s post to one of the four ARPA MDCs and the post of Executive Members (EMs) to the others.
The sources were, however, tight lipped on the names of the four MDCs who had allegedly ‘defected’ to the other side.
The sources further disclosed that opinions were varied among the new PDF partners on who would be the new Chairman of the KHADC.
The sources said that a section of the MDCs wanted former KHADC CEM Pynshngain N Syiem to take over the   post of Chairman while another section wanted incumbent Chairperson Teilinia Thangkhiew to continue.
The sources also revealed that the newly-formed alliance is likely to meet the Governor by Wednesday to stake their claim for formation of the new Executive Committee.
Expectantly, none of the Congress MDCs were willing to reveal anything on the new arrangement.
“We moved the no-confidence motion after getting the support of the requisite number of MDCs,” former CEM Pynshngain N Syiem told newsmen, while adding that the picture would be clearer on Tuesday.
“I will formally brief the media only after the debate on the no-confidence motion,” he said.
KHADC CEM Adelbert Nongrum, however, expressed confidence that he would survive the no-confidence motion against him moved by the Congress-led Opposition.
“As it stands at present all the ARPA MDCs are intact,” Nongrum said after an emergent meeting of the ruling alliance on Monday.
He also made it clear that he would have no regret should the EC collapse as he had not occupied the chair for personal gain. “Everyone knows that I had taken up this responsibility for the survival of the ruling coalition,” Nongrum said.
“I made it clear to the ARPA MDCs that I am ready to resign rather than embarrassing myself by facing the no-confidence motion on the floor of the House. But all the MDCs reiterated that they will continue to back me till the end of the term,” he added.
According to the CEM, collapse of the ARPA would amount to defeat of the people who had voted for a non-Congress led coalition in the KHADC.
Meanwhile, KHADC Chairperson Teilinia Thangkhiew announced that the debate on the no-confidence motion would take place at 2 pm on Tuesday.
Rs 15.4 crore vote on account tabled
KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) Adelbert Nongrum on Monday presented a Vote on Account of Rs.15.40 crore on the first day of the budget session.
The Vote on Account would be effective from April 1 to June 30.
The Executive Committee (EC) of the Council was unable to present the full budget for 2015-16 as the District Council was still awaiting receipts from the State Government for the period 2013-14.
“The income mentioned above is the backbone of the Council’s revenue excluding professional tax, trade and others,” Nongrum said, while informing that the full budget for 2014-15 would be presented in the next session of the Council.
A major allocation of Rs.7.20 crore was made for the Civil Works and Development departments.
Another major allocation of Rs.3.84 crore was made for the General Administration Department. Rs.1.33 crore was earmarked for the Forest Administration Department while Rs.1.08 crore was announced for the Revenue and Finance Departments for a period of three months.
In addition, the reports of the election of the Sirdar of Mawsmai-Nongthymmai under Mawsmai-Nongthymmai Sirdarship and of the Sirdar of Synnei under Synnei Sirdarship were also tabled in the House.
The Khasi Hills Autonomous (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) (First Amendment) Bill, 2015 was also placed before the House on Monday.