‘Centre retaining entitlements of the people of the state’

SHILLONG, Sep 24: Congress leader Dr Mukul Sangma who is also the opposition leader in the Meghalaya Assembly has slammed the centre for withholding developmental funds meant for the state.

Taking up the issue during a special motion on a discussion on the “overall development of the state and the need to seek more financial assistance from the centre, and also to earmark a Budget provision for all the eleven Districts in the state”, initiated by Congress MLA from Mawlai, Dr Sangma said, “The approach of the government of India is to retain the money which is the entitlements of the people of the state.”

According to the leader of the opposition, this was “unacceptable” and “painful for the people of Meghalaya.”

Dr Sangma alleged that the attitude of the government of India proves beyond reasonable doubt that such funds are being diverted for something else.

Giving a word of advice to the National People’s Party (NPP) led-Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, the leader of opposition cautioned the state government of the technique and “maneuver the leadership in Delhi is taking.”

He also said that since the centre has adopted the 50:50 pattern of funding for developmental projects it cannot dictate the state government anymore.

According to Dr Sangma by doing so it will dilute the spirit of federal structure of the country.

The opposition leader also took exception to a circular by the centre prohibiting illegal animal sacrifices on and before Bakrid.

Stating such a circular was an act of provocation, Dr Sangma said, “If similar notifications were given during Christmas and New Year’s what will happen?”

Earlier, this year the Meghalaya government has issued an order to all superintendents of police directing them to ensure that illegal animal sacrifices do not take place in the state leading up to Bakr-id.

The order, issued by the additional director general of police, comes after an advisory was issued in this regard by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), India and a circular by the Animal Welfare Board of India on July 20, prohibiting illegal animal sacrifices on and before Bakr-id.

Meanwhile, mocking the state government, Dr Sangma said that when the Congress was in power it never asked any MLAs to resign before upgrading an area into a Block or a Civil Sub-Division or a District.

Indirectly referring to the case of then, Ranikor Congress MLA, Martin M Danggo who quit the party and his seat to seek re-election from the NPP, Dr Sangma said, “We never asked Witting Mawsor (of the HSPDP) to resign when we upgraded Mawshynrut from a Block to a Civil Sub-Division.”

According to him sanctioning of such demands was in tune with the demands of the times.

The leader of opposition also disapproved of the frequent transfers of officials allegedly being made by the ruling dispensation in the state.

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