The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) fended off the Congress to win a trust vote on Tuesday. The MPA, however, lost majority in the 60-member House, following the suspension of five of its legislators. A senior MPA minister, however, hinted that some of the defectors might return to the MPA fold.
The trust motion saw both the MPA and the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) tied at 27 voice votes. The Speaker Bindo M. Lanong then voted for the MPA. Four of the five MPA legislators, who had withdrawn support last week, had also voted. But the Speaker declared their votes invalid as they had been suspended from the House with a show cause asking why action should not be taken against them under the anti-defection law.
After the trust vote, the MUA paraded 31 MLAs before Meghalaya Governor R.S. Mooshahar challenging the speaker’s “unconstitutional” conduction of the trust vote in the Shillong bench of the Gauhati High Court. “We are confident of winning the case and subsequently forming the government in Meghalaya,” said Assam health minister and AICC observer for Meghalaya Himanta Biswa Sarma.