The Assembly met at 10 a.m. in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon.ble Speaker in the Chair. The day was devoted for the transaction of Government business.
The Governor was ushered into the Chamber with due ceremony. He began his address to the House at 10.10 a.m. and concluded at 10.35 a.m.
Shri M. Suchiang moved :
"That the Members of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled in this Session are deeply grateful to the Governor for his address which he has been pleased to deliver to this House today, the 23rd March, 1998".
The motion was seconded by Shri J.A. Lyngdoh.
The House was adjourned at 10.40 a.m. for tea-break to meet again at 11.30.a.m.
The House re-assembled at 11.30 a.m. with the Hon' ble Speaker in the Chair to transact the remaining business :-
Under Rule 230 of the Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business, the Speaker announced the Report of the B.A.C.
Shri H.B. Dan, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs moved :-
"That this Assembly agrees with the allocation of time proposed by the B.A.C. in regard to the various items of Business for the current Session".
( The motion was carried and the Calendar approved ).
Under Rule 9(1) of the Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business, the Speaker nominated the following members to the Panel of Chairmen for the current session.
(1) Shri M. Suchiang, MLA.
(2) Shri D.N. Joshi, MLA.
(3) Shri Martin M. Dango, MLA.
(4) Shri Tonsingh N. Marak, MLA.
(1) Dr. Donkupar Roy, Minister incharge Education laid the Meghalaya Board of School Education ( Amendment ) Ordinance, 1997;
(2) Shri Simon Siangshai, Minister incharge P.W.D. laid the Annual Report of the MGCC Ptd., for the year 1994-95;
(3) Shri Singh Mulieh, Minister incharge Industries laid the Audit Report on the Accounts of the Meghalaya Khadi and Village Industries Board for the year 1985-86 to 1989-90;
Shri H.B. Dan, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs moved :
"That this House expresses its confidence in the present Ministry headed by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh" .
Opposing the motion Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition, stated that this Government was not stabled and shall never be able to fulfill the aspirations of the people. His defamatory expressing "dump driven cattle" were expunged from the proceedings by an order for the chair.
Shri O.N. Chyrmang, Shri T.H. Rangad, Minister incharge Science & Technology, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Home, Shri Augustine D. Marak, Minister incharge Food & Civil Supplies, Shri H.S. Lyngdoh, Minister incharge Forest supported whereas Dr. Mukul Sangma and Shri K.C. Boro opposed the confidence motion.
In his brief reply to the discussion, Shri H.B. Dan, Minister incharge Parliamentary Affairs, refuted the charges made by Shri D.D. Lapang, the Leader of Opposition stating that "togetherness is happiness".
The motion was put to vote by the Speaker :
"The question is that this House expresses its confidence on the Ministry headed by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh.
(The motion was carried and this House expressed its confidence on the Ministry headed by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh.)
The Speaker told the House that he had received "two letters signed by the Secretary of the Congress Legislature Party, Shri C.B. Marak (1) informing that Shri D.D. Lapang had been unanimously elected the C.L.P. Leader in the meeting held on 20.3.98 and that in view of the Party being the single largest Party among the allies in the U.M.P.F. Shri D.D. Lapang may be accorded the status of the Leader of Opposition in the House.
Shri D.D. Lapang, C.L.P. Leader was thereafter accorded the status of the Leader of Opposition by the Chair.
(2) The Speaker also read out another letter signed by the Secretary, C.L.P. had informing him that Shri D.D. Lapang, leader, C.L.P. had formally been re-elected the new leader in the C.L.P. meeting held on the 20.3.98 at 3.30 p.m. in the Taraghar Bungalow, Shillong, consequent upon the resignation tendered by Shri S.C.Marak dated 20.3.98.
He further informed the House that meanwhile, Shri D.N. Joshi shall continue as the Chief Whip of the C.L.P. till further arrangements.
The leader of the House, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh, initiated the obituary references to the demise of the following national leaders and prominent personalities :-
(1) Late Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda, former Prime Minister of India and founder of the I.N.T.U.C.
(2) Late Dr. Shankar Ghosh, former Union Minister for Planning.
(3) Late Shri E.M.S. Namboodiripad former Chief Minister of Kerala and an Indian foremost Marxist leader.
Others who spoke included Shri D.D. Lapang, Leader of Opposition, Shri Salseng C. Marak, Shri A.H. Scott Lyngdoh, Home Minister and the Hon' ble Speaker.
(Two minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls).
The House rose at 12.45 a.m. and stood adjourned till 10 a.m. on Tuesday the 24th March, 1998.
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.