Timothy D Shira elected the Deputy Speaker

SHILLONG, Mar 21: National People’s Party (NPP) legislator from Resubelpara, Timothy D Shira was elected the Deputy Speaker of the Meghalaya Assembly.

Shira defeated opposition Congress candidate David Nongrum by 16 votes.

Shira (68), the former Deputy Chief Minister and oldest-most member in the assembly, polled 36 votes while his rival Nongrum secured 20 votes, even as one vote was found invalid.

At present, the strength of the MDA coalition is 35 barring the Speaker, while the Opposition Congress has 20 members.

Shira was the deputy chief minister during the then Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government that lasted only for one year (2008-2009) when the present Speaker was the chief minister.

Interestingly, both the senior members – Dr Roy and Shira, who were together in then MPA government, are now Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

In a turn of events, lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), member from North Shillong, Adelbert Nongrum who did not vote during the Speaker’s election, voted for the post of Deputy Speaker.

Nongrum and Independent, S.K. Sun however did not declare their affiliation so far.