Newmai News Network
Shillong | June 5
Opposition Congress party has come down heavily on the three months old Conrad Sangma government in Meghalaya for its "failure to ensure peace" in the State even as it demanded setting up of a judicial inquiry to resolve the long pending issue related to the shifting of the Sweepers’ Colony from Them Iew Mawlong.
The Congress party has also challenged the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) that if it is not competent to handle the prevailing law and order situation arising out of the issue, the Congress will handle it within a reasonable period of time.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the Congress Legislature Party held here on Tuesday, CLP leader Mukul Sangma said, “We urge upon the state government to immediately constitute a judicial inquiry and further proceed as per the provisions of the law to restore peace.”
This has also come a day after the state government has decided to constitute a seven-member High Level Committee (HLC) to be headed by the deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong during the all party meeting which was also attended by representatives of the opposition Congress party.
Sangma, who is also Leader of Opposition, said that the Congress at the all party meeting held yesterday had maintained firm stand on the need to constitute a judicial inquiry and had never agreed for the setting up of the high level committee.
“Why we ask for the judicial inquiry because this will then give a very transparent and complete picture about the situation and the ways and means of handling the situation and getting the whole issue resolve,” he said.
“Let the government be guided by the kind of recommendations which can be an offshoot of the judicial inquiry and further look at how things should be done then it will be available in the public domain and therefore it would be easier for the government to look at all possibilities that can be done and what that cannot be done.”
Stating that the Congress means business, he said that the party wants to give suggestion which is constructive and is going to be for the larger good of the state.
Slamming the state government for "failing to sustain peace" in the state, the Leader of Opposition also warned of the dangerous trend of the alleged “too much” of intervention coming from multiple authorities including the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that are acting on the issue.
“We really don’t know whether the MHA or the Chief Minister’s office which is calling the shots or the office of the Home Minister of the State which is calling the shot. It is a very dangerous trend and this demonstrates the whole lack of competency level of this government. I can see (this) as I have run government for eight years I know what is happening I can see between the lines,” he said.
Claiming that the people have lost confidence in the present government and are looking what has gone wrong with them, he asked was this a situation (ongoing violent protest) should catch the attention of the whole nation?
“We have just witnessed unexpected situation where the state government has failed to sustain the peace. It is definitely a concern for the citizen of the state. The government has failed in sustaining the peace,” he charged.
Recalling that the Congress during its nine-year tenure in the government was successful in overcoming many challenges especially the problem of militancy, Sangma however said, “If they (Conrad Sangma government) don’t know how to handle it (present situation), we will handle it within a reasonable period of time because we know these people cannot handle it.”
He further claimed that the previous Congress-led government has sustained peace in the state until the installation of the present government and said it is a sad thing that not even completing three months, they have messed up everything.
Reacting to a query what made the Congress not resolve the issue when it was in power, Sangma however said that the Congress has identified many problems and handle them one after another but everything was not possible to be resolved in just eight years. “Though we knew this problem (shifting of Sweepers’ colony) and the challenges that would come along to implement this we know and that is why we say will take enough time when we get the mandate again we will resolve it,” he said.
Whether the Congress being the single largest party stake claim in view of the failure of the present government, the CLP leader said, “That is a million dollar question – when you play three cards you don’t put all the cards on the table and politics is as simple as that so don’t expect me to put all my cards on the table it is close to my chest okay.”
He said that what is expected from the government is to handle the situation and to ensure that it does not go out of hand. “We want to see that peace and normalcy is restored. There will be challenges for the government and it is the duty of the incumbent government to handle the situation which confirms to the expectations of the people,” he added.