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CM’s prerogative to decide on James, MDA to wait for MeECL report

Shillong, July 16: The MDA coalition partners have decided to wait for the report of the commission of inquiry into the alleged irregularities in the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) and left it to the chief minister Conrad Sangma on the issue of removal of power minister James Sangma.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the MDA chaired by the chief minister.

During the weekly news briefing, the chief minister said leaders of the coalition partners have expressed that they would wait for the report of the independent inquiry committee.

On the demand to relieve the power minister from his portfolio, the chief minister said, “After they heard the clarification, a lot of them understood what the situation is and they all agreed that it is a matter that will have to be decided by the CM so they are not pressing it in a political way or anything like that.”

The chief Minister informed that issues related to the visit of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, boundary dispute with Assam, sixth schedule, bifurcation of the joint cadre and other issues were also discussed during the meeting.

Views of political leaders   

Earlier after the meeting, the leaders of different political parties said that they have not demanded the removal of the power minister as they have decided to wait for the report of the independent inquiry.

BJP state president Ernest Mawrie said that the chief minister had clarified on the allegations, including the alleged scam in the implementation of the Saubhagya scheme and that the state government had already instituted an independent inquiry into the matter.

“So we will wait for the report of the inquiry which will be submitted within a period of three months,” Mawrie said.

He added that the BJP had not made any demand for the removal of James as it is the prerogative of the chief minister.

NCP state president Saleng A Sangma said, “You cannot just pin point only at one man…you know one minister cannot just eat the money, come on it will be all the officers who will be involved you get my point – Last time you have seen the education scam, few officers were suspended so in that way it comes to light.”

“Right now what I want is that not only in this Saubhagya scheme but any failed department should come under this kind of inquiry,” he asserted.

HSPDP president KP Pangniang said, “ Since the government had already put in place an inquiry, everything will be looked into regarding the irregularities, the mismanagement – the committee will give us all information  but there was no discussion to remove or change the portfolio of James K Sangma.”

NPP state president WR Kharlukhi slammed the opposition Congress for demanding the removal of the power minister. “It is the role of the Congress…they would want to even remove the government if they can, that is what the Congress would like the most,” he said.

PDF president Banteidor Lyngdoh said the coalition partners have requested the need to hold the MDA meeting once in a month to ensure smooth functioning of the government.

Independent MLA and Chairman of the State Planning Board Lambor Malngiang said all members have reiterated that whoever is found guilty of corruption should be punished. “We are waiting for the report of the inquiry and we have discussed with the CM that no one should be spared if found guilty,” he said.

UDP leader and cabinet minister Lahkmen Rymbui did not elaborate on the outcome of the MDA meeting and only said,”Chief Minister will brief regarding the meeting”.

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