Meghalaya Assembly rejects motion on breach of privilege against Chief Minister

Shillong, Mar 15: The motion on breach of privilege filed by Congress legislator Zenith Sangma against Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was rejected by the Meghalaya Assembly.

After hearing the arguments of the opposition Congress MLA and the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh asked the mover of the motion if he wanted to withdraw the motion on breach of privilege to which, Sangma refused.

The Speaker put the motion to vote and it was defeated by voice vote.

Soon after the defeat of the motion, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong who is also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister took the floor and said that the complainant should be fined with Rs. 500 since the complaint was groundless, as per the rule 173 of the Rules and procedures and conduct of Business of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, moving the privilege motion, the Congress MLA said that it was unfortunate that the Chief Minister misled the House and the people of the State on the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The Chief Minister last week had blamed the previous Congress government in 2007 for signing a “lopsided” agreement with NTPC for the current power crisis in the State saying it’s like “hitting an axe on one’s feet.”

“In the PPA there is no mention of the Rs. 11 crore per month nor of the Rs. 133 crore per year and neither of the Rs. 3325 crore for the next 25 years,” Sangma said.

According to the Congress MLA, if the MeECL was not willing to purchase power there is an exit clause.

In his reply, the Chief Minister said that on the NTPC had sent MeECL a current bill of Rs. 11.86 crore. “I am referring to this number. Where is the question of misleading the House. I am basing my arguments on facts,” Sangma said.

The Chief Minister also said that the PPA does not have any exit cause.

“Only NTPC will have power to terminate the agreement. In the event of termination of agreement, the MeECL shall be liable to pay capacity charges each month,” Sangma said.

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