The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government won a no-trust motion 43-13 in the 60-member House on Wednesday. The motion, moved by the opposition Nationalist Congress Party, was admitted by assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope on Tuesday.
Deteriorating law and order in the western half of Meghalaya inhabited by the Garo tribe and lack of development spurred the no-confidence motion that opposition leader Conrad Sangma of the NCP had brought. But the party could not muster support with one of its 15 MLAs abstaining and another failing to turn up.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma, who has been fending off stiffer challenges from within the Congress, had earlier in the day claimed his government would sail through the no-trust vote. “Our focus was, is and will be on development,” he said after winning the no-trust.
Including Speaker Pyngrope, the MUA has 44 legislators in the Meghalaya assembly. Of these, 28 are Congress MLAs, 12 belong to three regional parties and four are independents. One independent MLA, aligned with the NCP, abstained from Wednesday’s no-trust.
Sangma, 46, rode a coup within the Congress to replace DD Lapang as chief minister in April 2010. His reign has since been under threat from dissidents in the party.