Sanbor stunner ahead of Mondal no-trust

My support to Govt remains, says NCP legislator after resigning as Deputy Speaker

NCP Legislator Sanbor Shullai sits in the Treasury Bench of the Assembly after resigning as Deputy Speakeron Monday. (ST)

SHILLONG: In a significant development, Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai resigned from the post on Monday, two days ahead of the no-confidence motion against Assembly Speaker AT Mondal.
The sudden resignation of Shullai has raised speculations on whether the move is at the behest of MUA-II Government to ensure that the no-confidence motion is defeated with a Chairman (from the panel) taking up the motion on Wednesday in the absence of the Deputy Speaker who the Government considers has the chance of buckling under pressure from the Opposition when it moves the no confidence motion.
The resignation letter was submitted to the Speaker on March 21. Though the MUA Government is tightlipped on the motive of the Deputy Speaker, sources said that the Government wants to avoid the embarrassment of going for secret ballot to decide the fate of the Speaker if the Opposition insists for it.      Congress legislator Ronnie V Lyngdoh is likely to chair the session on Wednesday when the motion comes up for discussion and it is likely to be defeated by voice vote.
Earlier, soon after the Question Hour, Mondal informed the House that he had received the resignation letter from Shullai. Quoting the resignation letter dated March 21 , Mondal said that he (Shullai) has stated that the Congress-led MUA Government under the leadership of Mukul Sangma has put the State to new growth trajectory through numbers of new and multi-pronge strategy.  “With the firm objective of further strengthening the MUA Government for the overall good of the people and the State as a whole, I reaffirm my strong commitment of working together in the Government. I, therefore, have taken a conscious decision to tender my resignation from the post of Deputy Speaker of Meghalaya with immediate effect,” the Assembly Speaker stated while quoting the resignation letter adding that he (Shullai) also expressed confidence that the party’s (NCP) association in the Government will give the opportunity to provide an effective, responsive and accountable Government. “I have decided to accept it after finding that the resignation letter was in order,” Mondal added. The Speaker later requested Shullai to seat in the Treasury Bench. Shullai was seen in a pensive mood in the House and as well as addressing the newspersons in his chamber. On who will chair the session on Wednesday in the absence Deputy Speaker to deal with the no -confidence motion against him, Mondal told reporters that when FA
Khonglam was the Chief Minister, he as the Chairman, took up the no-confidence motion against the then Speaker ED Marak indicating that in the absence of the Deputy Speaker one of the members in the panel of Chairmen can chair the House to take up the motion against the Speaker. Later, talking to reporters, Shullai denied that he was pressurized by Chief Minister to step down to facilitate that the no confidence motion against the Speaker is defeated. Citing personal reasons, Shullai said that he got some relief by quitting the post as he can now concentrate more in the constituency. “But, I will continue to support the MUA Government as a legislator,” he said. Shullai also said that he appraised the State and Central NCP leaders before resigning from the post. He also asserted that his resignation is not connected
with the no-confidence motion against the Speaker. To a question whether his colleague and NCP legislator Marthon Sangma will fill the post of Deputy Speaker, Shullai said that it was upto the collective leadership of MUA to decide on the matter. When asked whether he will reconsider the decision if the Chief Minister makes an appeal, he said, “That will be discussed later”. He, however, denied that there is a move to accommodate him in the Ministry after his resignation. Earlier, on March 10, the letter relating to the no- confidence motion submitted jointly by James Sangma (NPP), Witting Mawsor(HSPDP), John Leslee Sangma (Independent),and Jemino Mawthoh (UDP) expressed their lack of confidence on the Speaker of the House vis-a-vis Article 179 (c) of the Constitution of India and rule 135 of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. Rule 135 of the Assembly speaks about the resolution and no-confidence motion for removal of Speaker and Deputy Speaker under article 179 of the constitution. The Opposition members tabled the no-confidence motion against the Speaker alleging that he had not allotted sufficient time for the members to take up relevant issues in Assembly.