News Alerts
prev next

MUA-II Govt stares at multiple issues on third anniv

Financial crunch, empowerment of headmen, Dual Post Bill row, law and order seek govt attention

SHILLONG: Financial crunch, pending issue of empowerment of headmen, ambiguity in Dual Post Bill, lack of cohesive approach on the part of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his Cabinet colleagues on several issues, the tussle between the KHADC and the government on powers and functions of district councils and vulnerable law and order situation especially in Garo Hills among others stared at the Congress-led MUA-II government as it completed three years in office in March this year.
While the Chief Minister assumed office on March 5, 2013, his 11 cabinet colleagues took charge on March 11.
In fact, for the Chief Minister, this will be his six years in office after he assumed charge for the first time on April 20, 2010.
While the critics of the Chief Minister still blame him for allegedly imposing decisions as was in the case of the Dual Post Bill which was hurriedly okayed by the Cabinet, the 11 Cabinet ministers acted in a way that hinted that they did not enjoy much authority in matters related to governance and considered the Chief Minister to be the power centre.
Congress sources said that the division within the party over the issue of Dual Post Bill resulting in KHADC CEM PN Syiem taking an extreme stand has done a lot of damage to the party and the government.
Even the Congress High Command could not solve the issue after several meetings with Syiem who had also separately met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi.
During the several CLP meetings, the Chief Minister could not ensure the presence of Syiem to show unity.
In the just concluded Budget session of the Assembly, though Syiem had brought a motion on the need to amicably solve the stand- off between the KHADC and the State Government, it did not provide the desired result.
In the Budget session, the Opposition had also pointed out the contradictions in the Dual Post Bill passed by the State Government since the KHADC CEM has been continuing in the post of the CEM even after the Dual Post Act came into effect from October 1 last year whereas seven legislators had quit their post as MDCs.
As far as the empowerment of headmen is concerned, even after the recent Supreme Court ruling related to the issue of empowering headmen, no follow up action was carried out by the State Government. Moreover, the VAB of KHADC is still pending with the Union Home Ministry after it was referred to the Centre by the Governor last year.
On the economic front, lack of proper planning by the State Government has resulted in the government not being able to adjust with impact of coal mining ban.
Neither any serious study on the impact of coal mining ban nor any aggressive focus on alternate sources of revenue especially to cash in on tourism has been carried out by the government to tide over the crisis for the last two years following the ban on coal mining on April 17, 2014.
The recent order of the government to ensure closure of liquor shops which did not follow certain norms has also resulted in loss of revenue thereby adding to the financial crunch.
Though many appreciated the recent announcement of the Chief Minister to create 15 police stations and to upgrade three more, besides the creation of four new civil sub divisions and blocks, the reality is that the four new districts created at the end of 2012 by the Congress-led government aimed at a victory in the 2013 Assembly polls are still without proper infrastructure.
Commenting on the political situation, a senior Congress leader said that the internal problems within the Congress, if not solved within two years, before the party faces the next election in 2018, will have serious repercussions on the poll prospects of the party.
On the law and order front, the State Government is yet to arrive at a lasting solution to the problem of insurgency in Garo Hills other than adopting piecemeal approaches.
A police official admitted that talks with ANVC, ANVC-B, and recent negotiation with UALA, have not stopped the formation of splinter groups in Garo Hills which only added to the problem of militancy in the form of spurt in kidnapping, killings and abductions.

You might also like More from author