Shillong: The Meghalaya Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2013 was on Thursday passed in the Assembly amidst strong protest from the opposition bench on the last day of the Budget Session.
The bill was passed after Chief Minister Mukul Sangma assured the opposition that further amendments would be made to strengthen the institution of the Lokayukta.
Prior to the passage of the bill, the opposition comprising NPP and UDP legislators protested that the government was pushing through the bill without accommodating their amendments.
NPP member James Sangma said that by insisting on passing the bill indicated that the government did not want a strong Lokayukta.
UDP leader Paul Lyngdoh also voiced dissent saying that the amendments proposed by the opposition were aimed at making the bill better and wondered why the state government preferred to ignore them.
At one point the opposition members tried to convince Speaker AT Mondal to disallow the chief minister from tabling the bill, but mellowed after Sangma gave an assurance to bring amendments.
The chief minister said that the government`s readiness to bring amendments to the bill that was passed earlier was a reflection of its commitment to strengthen the Lokayukta.
The bill was passed by the state assembly in December 2012, but Governor Ranjeet Shekhar Mooshahary had sent it back without giving his assent and instead suggested some amendments.