Bindo Lanong: Decision to demand for stripping James Sangma off Power portfolio was taken at party level

Shillong, Mar 24: The chief adviser of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Bindo M Lanong on Wednesday said that the demand of the party to strip off the Power department portfolio from James K. Sangma was taken at the party level and not done at the individual level.

Lanong said that all the confusion was created due to misunderstanding.

It may be mentioned that on Monday, UDP, general secretary, Dr. Jemino Mawthoh wrote to Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, demanding that the Power Minister be stripped off his portfolio for the crisis in the MEECL.

However, cabinet minister and UDP legislator, Lahkmen Rymbui said that he did not have any inkling about his party’s decision to demand for the removal of Sangma from the Power department.

The UDP working president said that, the party president was not in town when the UDP took the decision. “We spoke to some of our legislators informing them about our decision. We are the party leaders. It does not mean that all of us need to sit to discuss one issue,” Lanong said.

He informed that the decision to demand the removal of Sangma from the Power department was taken in a meeting where, Lanong, Titostarwell Chyne CEM of the KHADC who is also the president of the UDP East Khasi Hills unit, Paul Lyngdoh president of Shillong city, the general secretary among others.

Lanong said that the UDP took up the issue after getting complaints from the citizens of the State.

“In the absence of the president we thought that the issue warranted immediate attention, and we did not cross the line,” Lanong added.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued, the UDP said that as per Article 27 of the constitution of the UDP, the general secretary is the empowered authority to sign all documents authorised by the party.

“Apropos the charge of the NPP youth wing that the UDP general secretary had unilaterally taken an opportunistic call on his own to write to the Chief Minister urging his good office to relieve the current Power Minister and the CMD of the MeECL from their current positions, the party stands firm on its call for reasons that will be taken up as and when the Chief Minister, who is the Chairman of MDA is available for discussion,” the UDP stated.

The UDP also stated that it regrets the fact, that due to paucity of time and the erratic mobile network, again a problem arising out of the power crisis, it was not able to take on board it’s Minister’s in the government.

The UDP said that the party is a responsible partner, and only took steps in the current direction to apprise the authorities that be, of the gravity of the situation.

The party said that power is an important part of governance, a sector that drives forward not only the economy but governance as a whole.

“We regret the fact that those who are blinded are possibly forcibly induced with ignorance on the ongoing depradation of MeECL which if not addressed suitably, is going to lead to the collapse of MeECL. This in turn will provide the dispensation of the day with the opportunity to privatise the corporation which will subject the consumers to be at the mercy of the Corporation. The Party will soon meet to address this pressing issue,” the UDP stated. 

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