Shillong, Oct. 3: Former Rajya Sabha MP Robert Kharshiing today advocated the removal of Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma for his role in the ongoing inner-line permit (ILP) impasse.
“All former chief ministers were always quick to negotiate and come to a mutually acceptable settlement with various NGOs during their time in office for the sake of maintaining peace and harmony in our state,” Kharshiing, who is also a NCP leader, said at a press conference this evening.
“This time I don’t see that from the current chief minister. He has said that there will be no more negotiations until the NGOs withdraw their agitation. Now he is setting up a special court to try them. I am shocked and saddened. These are our own people. These are not terrorists or hardened criminals. Where are we pushing them to?” he asked.
Not stopping at that, he also said: “This dictatorial and draconian attitude is how such proud, corrupt and arrogant politicians have turned peaceful states into insurgency-ridden states.”
As a chief minister, Kharshiing said Sangma “should be like a father with his own children”.
“These are not his enemies. Until this chief minister came in, Meghalaya was the most peaceful state,” he claimed.
He appealed to Governor Krishan Kant Paul to “make the chief minister realise that a negotiated political settlement through respectful discussion” was the best way forward to solve the ILP imbroglio.
“I believe the chief minister needs to be changed and a new chief minister from within the Congress should be chosen who will be willing to negotiate. I am not trying to topple the government except trying to change the leader when I found that he was not willing to negotiate and compromise with the NGOs for the sake of peace and harmony within our state,” Kharshiing argued.
The former MP said he would go to New Delhi on October 12 to hold talks with both Congress and NCP leaders on the current imbroglio afflicting Meghalaya.