Irked by the failure of the MDA government to reinstate the three Lokayukta officials who were sacked by the government, the Voice of the People Party (VPP) has decided to stage a sit-in-demonstration in front of the Meghalaya Secretariat from January 19 from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Informing this today, VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh said that the demonstration would resume on January 22 if the State government fails to concede to the demand.
“The termination of the services of the officials concerned is not only an injustice and insult to them but to the entire State and therefore, it is the duty of every right thinking citizen to join in the protest and bring down this government to its knees,” Myrboh said.
The VPP also appealed to all those who come to participate in the protest to refrain from taking any action that violates the law and order and disturb peace and tranquility.
“If anyone is involved in any activity that violates law and order, he/she shall be solely responsible for his/her action,” Myrboh said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong today claimed that the State government has done its due diligence before terminating the service of the Lokayukta officials.
Stating that the VPP should first read the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act before coming up with complaints, Tynsong said that his party has also clarified on the matter.
“Let them (VPP) read out the Lokayukta Act and then only come up with their complaint. Without reading the act it is not fair. The rules also clearly indicate that the officials of Lokayukta should be serving officers. We have thought over it a hundred times, be it the political appointment or terminating the contractual staff in any office.”
On the stand taken by the VPP on the issue, Tynsong said, “They can say whatever they want to say but we also have our process and rules and we have to follow that.”
Recently, the State government removed Lokayukta’s Director of Inquiry and Prosecution, Jainal Rymmai and two enquiry officers – Anil K. Sangma and Rymphang Pde. The officials were unceremoniously sacked via WhatsApp messages.
It was this trio who had unearthed an alleged scam worth crores of rupees that purportedly involved NPP MLA, Sanjay Sangma, who is also the brother-in-law of the chief minister.
Following their investigation, the court of the Lokayukta had charge-sheeted Sanjay Sangma, nine former GHADC executive committee members, two contractors, and a former Principal Secretary of the GHADC.
The investigation followed a complaint by activist Kingstone B Sangma.
The alleged scam in question relates to the construction of a hostel for MDCs of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) in Tura. The project is worth more than Rs 6 crore. The MDC hostel was funded by the central government.
Later, on the recommendation of the State government, the Lokayukta chairperson, Bhalang Dhar, has appointed Israel W. Ingty as the new Director of the Inquiry Wing and three other members – Challang G. Momin, John Clitzer Sangma and Baniateilang Diengngan.