58 MLAs take oath of office - Meghalaya Assembly prepares for new session; CM keeps list of ministers a secret till AICC approval

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 8.03.13
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Shillong, March 7: The ninth Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was set in motion today with 58 of the 60 legislators taking oath of office, though at one point, the legislators’ sense of hearing took a beating owing to a suspect sound system.

Senior Congress legislator and pro tem Speaker Rowell Lyngdoh administered the oath of office to 58 legislators, which included 27 fresh entrants on the Assembly premises.

Barring Umroi legislator Ngaitlang Dhar of the Congress, a first-timer, who is also the richest MLA with declared assets amounting to Rs 235 crore, Lyngdoh administered the oath to the old and the young for a place in the ninth Legislative Assembly.

Dhar, who was a truck driver before starting his business career, was reportedly indisposed.

Among those who took oath included the oldest legislator — Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, — of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), who is 84 years old and has been winning elections since 1972 and the youngest — Rophul S. Marak, 33, an Independent who won his maiden election from Rongara Siju constituency in the South Garo Hills.

Also, after the gap of a decade, the House witnessed the return of three legislators — Salseng C. Marak and Roshan Warjri of the Congress and Clifford R. Marak of Garo National Council.

The House also witnessed the oath taking of a husband-wife duo for the first time — chief minister Mukul M. Sangma and his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira of the Congress. The chief minister’s younger brother, Zenith M. Sangma, was also among those who took the oath.

There were also four women leaders who were administered the oath — M. Ampareen Lyngdoh, Roshan Warjri, Shira and Deborah C. Marak — all from the Congress. The former chairman of the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) Julias Kitbok Dorphang and a former Meghalaya police sub-inspector Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem also took oath.

Former student leaders Paul Lyngdoh, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Embhahlang Syiemlieh, Jemino Mawthoh, Limison D. Sangma, Clifford R. Marak, and John Leslee Sangma were also administered the oath.

The Election Commission had constituted the ninth Assembly on March 1, a day after the poll results were announced.

The House comprises 29 Congress legislators, eight UDP members, four from HSPDP, two each from the NCP and NPP, one each from Garo National Council and North East Socialist Democratic Party and 13 Independents.

The ceremony was marred by a flawed sound system, which was a great cause of exasperation. During one instance, a shrieking sound emanating from the speakers created a danger to the hearing of all those present inside the House.