Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said that the allegation related to illegal transportation of coal was only made to divert the attention of the public from the much-speculated cabinet reshuffle, likely to take place in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.
The minister’s statement came today after it was alleged that the United Democratic Party (UDP), an ally of the MDA, was involved in the alleged illegal activities. The UDP has three ministers – Rymbui, Kyrmen Shylla and H Brolding Nongsiej – in the MDA government, while UDP President Metbah Lyngdoh is the Speaker of the Assembly.
“Trucks transporting coal based on legal documents cannot be detained and trucks ferrying coal without documents are illegal. As Home Minister, I have full faith in the police department and my officers,” the minister, who is also Amlarem MLA, said.
Rymbui said that may be this allegation was hurled at the UDP only to divert the attention of the people because the UDP will not reshuffle its ministers, whereas some ministers from other partners of the MDA are discussing and making internal arrangements among them in connection with the cabinet reshuffle.
“I could see that the allegation was only to divert the attention of the public from the most likely cabinet reshuffle. It (cabinet reshuffle) may be true, or not true, but there is an internal arrangement among them,” Rymbui stated.
Yesterday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong defended the government by saying that not all coal trucks are ferrying coal illegally.
Tynsong had led a delegation of a group of ministers to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma after they alleged that illegal transportation of coal had re-surfaced in the state.
The state Mining and Geology Department had also issued an order related to a scheme which was framed for rewarding an informant Rs 5,000 for providing credible information directly leading to the seizure of coal or vehicles carrying illegal coal.