Amidst the TMC-Congress impasse over the Leader of Opposition post, the National People’s Party (NPP) leader and Cabinet Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar said the absence of Leader of opposition clearly shows the opposition in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly are weak.
Talking to reporters in Shillong, Dhar said, “If there is no Leader of Opposition it shows they (opposition) are weak, it seems that they are yet to decide on this part also.”
The NPP spokesperson and former Congress legislator Dr. M Ampareen Lyngdoh said the fractured mandate given by the people in recently conducted Assembly election is affecting the political situation in the state.
While maintaining that Meghalaya is not the first state to experience this, the senior legislator mentioned that several states in the country and even Parliament have witnessed this.
“You have seen now that the opposition has 5 + 5 + 4, and when there is no one common front seen in that opposition, this question will arise,” Lyngdoh said.
Asked, she said the party will await the order of the Speaker at whose disposal the decision for appointment of Leader of Opposition is vested at.
“We trust that the Speaker in his wisdom will be able to take a call on the matter, but even if the Speaker does take a decision, the fact of the matter remains that it is a fragmented opposition,” the East Shillong legislator added.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee has categorically made it clear that the party is waiting for the offer to come from All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) to work together as a ‘united opposition’ in the Assembly.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ronnie V Lyngdoh said, “Some have asked me why not work with the TMC, but the offer or request has to come from their end.”
“When such a request has not been made [by the TMC], we also don’t feel it right to just make the offer…”he added.
Interestingly, the first session of the newly elected Meghalaya Assembly recently concluded without a consensus among the non-treasury benches on who will assume the role of the Leader of Opposition.
This deadlock is a result of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the two largest Opposition parties, insisting on the position.
While 10 legislators in the opposition are required for the appointment of Leader of Opposition but none of the three opposition parties fulfill the criteria. As a result of the split in vote share both Congress and TMC have five legislators each, while the Voice of the People party is restricted to four. Both parties, Congress and TMC have written to Speaker Thomas A Sangma to put forward their claims.