Former Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma of the Congress Party is to be blamed for the non-implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya, senior United Democratic Party (UDP) leader Bindo Lanong said today.
Prior to the 2013 elections, the UDP and Congress were coalition allies. Under Dr Sangma a committee was appointed in 2012, headed by Lanong, which recommended the imposition of ILP in Meghalaya.
“This committee was constituted by Dr Mukul Sangma in October 2012, comprising members from the NGOs, MLAs and ministers, both Congress and non-Congress, that did its job within two months and submitted reports in December 2012. But Mukul Sangma, instead, brought in the Tenancy Act in 2013 when he returned as the Chief Minister, which was useless,” Lanong told Highland Post. “I’m still waiting for an answer (on this) from Dr Mukul because he was the one who picked the members for the committee and appointed me as the Chairman but never respected the recommendation of the committee.”
On the central government, in whose hands lies the ultimate decision on whether to introduce ILP in a state or not, Lanong said that it should explain why, if it granted the legal mechanism to other North East states, it is unwilling to do the same for Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, Lanong also attacked the ex-CM and current leader of the opposition on the coal mining issue. Dr Sangma has been hitting out, of late, at the government for alleged illegalities with regards to coal in the state.
The UDP leader questioned why, even though it was approved by cabinet in 2011, the state’s mining policy was never enforced during the tenure of Dr Sangma.
“Mukul should stop barking in the street because he is also answerable on this issue because it was his cabinet that approved the mining policy but never enforced it,” he said, adding that the Congress chief is a coal baron himself and has a personal interest in this matter.
He further maintained that it is time that the Congress back up its coal-related allegations with concrete proof.