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Turbulent year caps second term

- Critics point finger at rise in militancy and unrest

Shillong, March 4: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma will complete 365 days in office tomorrow, a year in which militancy in Garo hills and the agitation led by pressure groups demanding implementation of the inner-line permit (ILP) dominated headlines.

Sangma entered his second innings as chief minister on March 5 last year after the Assembly polls. A week later, Sangma’s 11 legislators took oath as ministers to form the Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) II government. The Congress party, to which Sangma belongs, had bagged 29 of the 60 seats.

During the term of the eighth Assembly, Sangma was chief minister from April 2010 until the completion of the elections last year.

The rise of militancy, especially the emergence of splinter armed groups, only deteriorated the fragile law and order situation in the Garo Hills although efforts to bring about peace are still ongoing.

The ILP agitation cooled off in December last year after the chief minister invited the 13 pressure groups for talks.

Speaking to The Telegraph, National People’s Party (NPP) legislator James K. Sangma said, “In its one year term, this government has nothing to show in terms of governance, maintaining peace in the region, policy reforms and economic growth.”

On the contrary, he said, the state, instead of governance, has only seen the growth of corruption and protection of people who are guilty of corruption.

“The law and order situation has drastically deteriorated because of the inaction of the government and the wrong approach in addressing this problem,” James said.

He also said the budget session beginning Friday would be “heated” as it will give the people an opportunity to be heard on the floor of the House. He said the “mis-governance” and “mal-governance” of the government would be highlighted.

United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator Paul Lyngdoh remarked, “MUA-II began with a big bang, with the biggest tally for the ruling party. In less than six months, the bang turned into a whimper. Today, there is total paralysis of policy and governance and there is a loss of interest, initiative and teamwork.”


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