Shillong: Abu Taher Mondal was on Monday elected unopposed as Meghalaya Speaker creating history of sorts by becoming the first non-tribal to occupy the post.
Mondal, the Congress legislator from Phulbari, was elected unopposed after the nomination papers of Hills State People`s Democratic Party (HSPDP) legislator Ardent Basaiawmoit were rejected on the ground that no one seconded his name on time.
The HSPDP abstained from the election of the Speaker.
Congratulating Mondal, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said, "People of the state will celebrate the vibrant nature of democracy as it has created space for all sections."
"We have full faith in your capability where you will uphold the tradition, dignity and decorum of the House and that you will provide space for all to reflect the aspirations of the people," he said.
Pledging to work for the economic uplift of the poor, Mondal said, "It will be my endeavour to look into the interests of all the members irrespective of their positions."
Stating that Meghalaya Assembly was known for high order of debates, dignity, decorum and discipline, former chief ministers D D Lapang and S C Marak urged the new Speaker to ensure justice and impartiality.
Earlier, all legislators including members of the opposition congratulated Mondal.