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KHNAM takes on Cong over permit

Shillong, Sept. 4: The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) today lambasted the state Congress for claiming it had the requisite mandate not to implement the inner-line permit (ILP).

According to statistics, the Congress managed to poll 4,58,783 votes (34.78 per cent) in the 60 seats it had contested, while it managed to win 29.

On the other hand, KHNAM leader James Ban Basaiawmoit said the total non-Congress votes worked out to 8,60,256 out of a total of 13,19,039 votes polled during the Assembly election in February this year. “So how can one claim the mandate was against the implementation of ILP in Meghalaya, when the Congress did not even secure 50 per cent of the total votes polled?” he asked.

Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma had recently pointed out that the Congress did not promise in its election manifesto to implement the ILP as a mechanism to check influx. He had also said parties like the KHNAM, which vowed to put the system into operation, could not win even one seat.

Basaiawmoit said since the majority of people had voted against the Congress, it only showed that they are open to the idea of having the ILP as a mechanism to check infiltration into Meghalaya.

KHNAM working president Adelbert Nongrum said issues concerning the protection of the indigenous population are always “emotional” and intelligence without conscience would drastically affect the future of the indigenous race.

Citing the example of Maharashtra where certain political outfits have always spoken in favour of the native population, Nongrum said the Congress was bereft of conscience, going by the spate of scams like 2G and Coalgate it is embroiled in. “The Congress always thinks of national interest and not of regional interest,” he added.

At the same time, he took a swipe at the state government for its inability to nab CMJ University chancellor Chandra Mohan Jha and rape accused police sub-inspector Nurul Islam. “These people are under the shadow of politicians and police should first arrest the politicians,” Nongrum alleged.

KHNAM general secretary Batkupar Wahlang claimed the genuine non-indigenous population in the state is “in favour” of ILP as it would safeguard them.

Giving the chief minister an example of how the ILP should be implemented, Wahlang said an individual would require a “special pass” in order to set foot inside the state secretariat, as there are numerous police personnel guarding the seat of executive power. “I cannot comprehend why he (chief minister) finds the ILP complicated. He should, in fact, learn from the example set by the secretariat where no one can enter the premises without a valid pass. In the same way, the ILP can be implemented across the state where people from outside will not be able to enter without a valid permit, and on leaving the state, they would need to surrender the permit,” Wahlang said.

At the same time, he challenged the Congress to come for an open debate on the ILP. He wondered how the Congress could claim to be “serious and committed” when school and college teachers are out on the streets trying to make their voices heard instead of being inside their classrooms.


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