TURA, Nov 27 - A high drama played out in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) today with the ruling coalition, led by the NPP, staging a walkout prior to a trust vote that was supposed to take place, right after it lost the election to the post of deputy chairman. The Congress-led Opposition wrested the seat from the NPP alliance in the poll that set the tone for the day�s proceedings.
The ruling dispensation, headed by CEM Dipul Marak, was confident of sailing through, but what transpired later in the day reduced the NPP-led coalition to a minority.
On Monday last, Opposition members led by the Congress had brought a non-confidence motion against the NPP-led executive council, voting for which was scheduled for today.
The NPP-led executive committee had earlier initiated a move to impeach its deputy chairman, Mettrinson Momin, after he joined the ranks of the Congress. Mettrinson was a signatory to the no-confidence motion brought on Monday.
In the election to the deputy chairman�s post held this afternoon, NPP-led alliance candidate Augustine Marak lost to the Congress-backed Mettrinson Momin by two votes. Momin bagged 15 votes, while Marak got 13, with one vote deemed invalid.
The GHADC currently consists of 30 members, including one nominated. As many as 20 members belong to the NPP alliance, including the chairman, Denang T Sangma. Voting was conducted through secret ballot and sprang a surprise for the NPP after at least five members of their alliance voted for Momin.
Sensing the inevitable, the GHADC chairman adjourned the House immediately after the election, leading to a huge uproar from the Opposition members who continued to sit in the well of the House in an agitated state.
Despite being reduced to a minority, CEM Dipul Marak and his team of executive councillors did not give any indication to step down. The CEM�s phone was switched off after the NPP-led members left the House in shock.
The Opposition, however, has stated its intention to demand a special session of the GHADC to complete the no-confidence motion and oust the NPP-led executive committee. It has also questioned the sudden walkout by the GHADC chairman along with the NPP members.
�This is unparliamentary, to say the least. The post of the chairman is apolitical and by walking out along with the rest, he has sullied the prestige of the post. This is going to set a very bad precedent. We will seek legal recourse, if necessary,� said Congress MDC Stevie Marak after the session.