SHILLONG, March 12: Meghalaya’s new Speaker, Dr. Donkupar Roy has assured that the chair that he occupied from Monday onwards will not be used any toppling game even as he expressed his dismay over being a victim of such a toppling game.
“I assure you that I stand by both (ruling and opposition) but I like stability and love the word stability and I want to ensure that the chair of the Speaker is not be used for any toppling game,” Dr. Roy said after being elected as Speaker.
He also recalled that in the 1990s, the post of a Speaker was used to topple the government while stating that he is also a victim of such an incident. “I will also assure that all of you will be protected as per law and the post will never be used to victimize anyone,” he said.
A total of 35 votes in his favour ensured that the former Chief Minister was elected as the new Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly here on Monday.
Dr. Roy had defeated Winnerson Sangma who had polled a total of 20 votes.
Altogether, 56 members from both ruling NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) and opposition participated in the election process during a special session of the Assembly held here on Monday.
Lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator from North Shillong Adelbert Nongrum however skipped the session.
“I hereby declare Donkupar Roy as Speaker to the 10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,” Pro-tem speaker Timothy Shira announced after the election.
The newly elected Speaker was escorted by Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma and Opposition Leader Dr. Mukul Sangma to the chair before he took over the proceedings of the House.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Roy expressed his gratitude to the members of the House for electing him as the new Speaker of the Assembly, a post which he referred to as a chair he has never gotten the chance to occupy during his 30 years in politics.
Having served the state in different capacities, Dr. Roy was a former chief minister, former deputy chief minister, former leader of opposition, former chairman of Meghalaya State Planning Board.
Admitting that most Speakers never return again, Dr. Roy said that he was told the reason that most of the Speakers don’t return again in the elections is because once elected, nobody bothers about him.
“The position of a Speaker is undermined I have seen that if a person is not wanted in the group, he is sent as Speaker,” he said while urging, “We need to change this system. If I respect all of you, I will expect you to respect me in return.”
Earlier while congratulating the newly elected Speaker, Conrad said, “I am sure that with your long experience of being a member for seven times will give us the leadership we require. I know you will be fair and just and I hope you will be able to run the House in the best possible manner.”
The Chief Minister also urged the Speaker to consider organising training session for first time MLAs, 36 of them, on how the Assembly runs.
Leader of the opposition and former chief minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma expressed confidence that the newly elected Speaker will do justice to all the members of the House based on his experience.
Terming the post as ‘infallible’, Dr. Sangma said, “As you take this new responsibility, let this august house be an instrument to generate hope to the people of the state. We therefore look forward to your wisdom and guidance.”
Reminding that the state Assembly is a unique house, the former chief minister urged the Speaker to ensure that the dignity and honour of the House is maintained.