SHILLONG, Nov 20 - In a dramatic development, the Opposition Congress today won a no-confidence motion in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) against the ruling alliance, United Democratic Alliance (UDA), by bagging 15 votes as against the 14 secured by the ruling combine.
The voting was tied as both the ruling alliance and the Opposition bagged 14 votes each through a secret ballot, making it necessary for the KHADC chairman to break the deadlock by casting his vote. The chairman, PN Syiem, a member of the NPP which rules the State, cast his all-important vote in favour of the Congress.
This is a major setback for the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government in the State as its own member brought down the alliance at the district council and handed over victory to the Opposition Congress.
The UDA was formed in March after the KHADC elections with the alliance having a comfortable majority with 19 members. At present, the 30-member council has 29 members as a member had earlier passed away.
Like the MDA Government in the State, the UDA at the KHADC has also the NPP, United Democratic Party, Hill State People�s Democratic Party and People�s Democratic Party as partners.
Independent MLA Lambor Malngiang, also a member of the KHADC, was supporting the UDA. He is also the State Planning Board chairman.
Political instability has constantly dogged the three district councils of the State. This is largely attributed to the absence of an anti-defection law, with members switching sides frequently.
The present bone of contention has been a special assistance of Rs 52 crore sanctioned by the Centre earlier this year. The ruling UDA decided to give Rs 50 lakh to each member of the council out of this grant. However, six members � mostly from the ruling alliance � demanded more and sought a meeting of the UDA. Despite the meeting being called, the six members � Mitchell Wankhar, Victor Ranee and Gigur Myrthong of the NPP, Macdalyn Mawlong of the PDF and Independents Malngiang and Latiplang Kharkongor � withdrew their support to the UDA.
Sensing the discontent and open revolt, the Congress tabled the no-confidence motion, which paid dividends for it. Meanwhile, sources said several UDA members would switch sides and join hands with the Congress.