- UDP President Dr Donkupar Roy has been elected as the Assembly speaker
- Dr Roy defeated Congress’s candidate Winnerson Sangma
- This will be the first time for the UDP chief to serve as the Speaker of the Assembly
After having served as Deputy Chief Minister in the last Congress-led government, a candidate of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Dr Donkupar Roy has been elected as the Assembly speaker by receiving 35 out of 56 votes cast.
Dr Roy defeated Congress’s candidate Winnerson Sangma, who managed to raise the support of only 20 MLAs, who are most probably all the 20 congress representatives. It may be mentioned that one vote has been considered invalid. Meanwhile, KHNAM MLA Adelbert Nongrum did not attend the session
As per sources, this will be the first time for the UDP chief to serve as the Speaker of the Assembly. Donkupar Roy was elected from Shella constituency, bordering Bangladesh, as an Independent MLA in 1988 with the ardent support of the then Alliance Reconstruction of Meghalaya State, a political body of the Khasi Students’ Union.
Since then, Dr Roy has never lost an electoral battle from Shella seat, which is around 60 km from Sohra constituency (Cherrapunjee), the place receiving the highest rainfall on earth. In 1989, he was first appointed as Minister of State in the B B Lyngdoh Ministry and served in various capacities in the state.
Ahead of the 1998 Assembly elections, Dr Roy joined the newly formed regional United Democratic Party (UDP), contested and won the Assembly elections for the third consecutive term and became a Cabinet Minister in the Congress, UDP and NCP-led government. In 2003, he was unanimously elected as the UDP president and won a berth in the seventh Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
He was inducted into the Lapang-led ministry as Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Finance and other portfolios. Dr Roy’s childhood ambition to become chief minister took shape soon after Meghalaya presented a fractured mandate and the NCP projected him as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) to lead a non-Congress government in the state.