Reacting to the recent Meghalaya High Court order calling for central forces to crack down once and for all on illegal coal mining and transportation, the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) today called out the government for being in complete contempt of previous rulings.
TMC Meghalaya president Charles Pyngrope said that it is clear that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has not been doing its job in administering law and order if the High Court had to go to such lengths.
“It is not only a contempt of court, there’s also this total disregard of law and order in the state where you have the central paramilitary forces coming here to enforce a rule or a decision taken by the High Court,” Pyngrope stated, calling it a great shame that the state police are unable to contain the criminal behaviour, which necessitates an outside paramilitary force to come in.
When asked if perhaps the police are scared to act against the so-called high level individuals who are suspected to have a hand in the illegal trade, Pyngrope said that it is a question of whether the police dare to act or not.
TMC MP Derek O’Brien also said that the party has raised this issue in Parliament at the same time that the opposition is going after the Bharatiya Janata Party over the allegations against the Adani Group, whose boss is reportedly close to the Prime Minister.
He praised the TMC for being the only party to raise difficult issues that are important to the people. “We are committed to the state. We didn’t do Meghalaya a favour. We didn’t do the North East a favour. It was our duty to raise these issues. These are very serious issues,” the Rajya Sabha MP said, while taking a dig at the PM personally for not addressing a single press conference.
Meanwhile, when asked about the Congress Party, which released its manifesto for the February 27 election yesterday, and its slew of post-poll promises, O’Brien said that “imitation is the best form of flattery”, referring to the TMC’s many promises of a similar nature.
At the press conference, the TMC also screened speeches made by its MPs in the Parliament on issues concerning Meghalaya.
“We made it a point to raise every issue of Meghalaya in Parliament. We say this with all the humility and pride that Trinamool Congress delivers. What were the other national parties doing? Parliament was on for 10 days. I challenge other national and regional parties to show you two minutes of any of their MPs raising a single issue [of Meghalaya]. Nobody did. We didn’t do Meghalaya any favour. It was our duty to raise these serious issues and we will continue to do the same,” O’Brien said.
The MP said the party had sought accountability from the Centre in Parliament and asked about the lack of development in Meghalaya and the Northeastern states, despite announcing Rs 7,000 crore allocation for the region.
Issues of several instances of graft including the smart meter scam, rice scam, and the police vehicle scam were taken up, he said, adding the party MPs have also raised inclusion of Garo and Khasi Languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and others.
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