By: Evanjoplin Dkhar
Shillong (Meghalaya), Mar 12: Former Chief Minister and United Democratic Party Chief, Donkupar Roy was today elected as the Speaker of the 10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
Roy, who is also the longest serving legistalor in the state, defeated opposition Congress MLA Winnerson D Sangma by securing 35 votes.
Sangma, a two-time legislator from Salmanpara, got only 20 votes. One vote was rejected.
Altogether, 56 members from both ruling and opposition participated during the election to the high post during a special session held here on Monday.
Lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator from North Shillong Adelbert Nongrum however skipped to attend the election.
"I hereby declared that Donkupar Roy as Speaker to the 10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly," Pro-tem speaker Timothy Shira announced.
The newly elected Speaker was escorted by chief minister Conrad Sangma and Opposition Leader Mukul Sangma to the chair before he took over the proceedings.
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 required. 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 Congress party and former chief minister Mukul Sangma expressed confidence that the newly elected Speaker will do justice to all the members of the House based on his experiences.
Terming the post as 'infallible', Mukul 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 dignity and honour of the House is maintained.