Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, under pressure from a section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is an ally of his United Democratic Party (UDP), has welcomed the criticism, likening it to vitamins.
“It is like a vitamin for me to work more. If there is lapse or shortcomings, I will try to improve. I never take any criticism personally. They have the right and I also have the right to perform my duty to the best of my ability,” Rymbui said today.
The Meghalaya BJP President, Ernest Mawrie, had recently demanded the resignation of Rymbui for failing to curb illegal coal mining in the state and sought for an independent inquiry into the deaths of the six labourers in a coal pit in Rymbai, East Jaintia Hills, on January 21.
“I am from the War region of Meghalaya and we do not shy away from challenges or responsibilities. If anything happens it is our duty to see how to overcome all the challenges,” the Home Minister said.
Rymbui represents Amlarem constituency in West Jaintia Hills, which is in the War region.
He also said that the Meghalaya unit of the BJP should seek Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurapa’s resignation first before asking him to step down. Five people had died in a quarry in Yediyurapa’s constituency on the same day as the Rymbai disaster.
Rymbui said, “The BJP, being a national party, should first introspect.”
He also informed that two years ago a committee to oversee if there is any illegal mining was formed at the district level.
“So, as a government, it is time to see how this committee is working. Whether they are working or not and, if not, they have to work aggressively. They have to raid all places where there is illegal mining. Periodic raids should be done to curb these types of things,” Rymbui added.