Council chairman, deputy tender resignations
SHILLONG: The Congress and the HSPDP will now join as members of the opposition in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council after the resignation of five MDCs from the posts of executive members, chairman and deputy chairman.
Council Chairman Manstudy Nongrem and his deputy, Donevan Kharwanlang, submitted their resignations to KHADC Secretary A. Shangpliang on Wednesday and reiterated that their actions were as per the directions of the MPCC.
The five Congress MDCs – PT Sawkmie, Jansing Tynsong, Lamphrang Blah, Nongrem and Kharwanlang – recently withdrew their support to the PDF coalition led by PN Syiem.
Nongrem told reporters on Wednesday, “We had a discussion with the president and the working president of the MPCC to withdraw support to the coalition and the decision was taken shortly after Syiem’s suspension was announced. However, we did not want to disturb the session and we went on.”
EC to be blamed for financial mess
With the KHADC mired by allegations of embezzlement and Syiem’s suspension from the Congress that prompted five MDCs to resign, Nongrem said it was not prudent to continue working with the suspended leader of the Executive Committee, which he blamed for the financial mess that the Council is in.
“The misappropriation of funds has been taken up in the House and the EC has constituted an independent inquiry in this case. However, members of the inquiry committee are officers appointed by the District Council. We sensed a hidden agenda in this matter.”
Asserting that the committee should comprise members who are outside the jurisdiction of the District Council, Nongrem said, “We want the inquiry to be conducted in a fair manner.”
According to him, with the inquiry committee currently on the job to uncover the truth, he said the EM in charge of Finance, Antonio War, should have surrendered his portfolio while the inquiry is on to ensure fair probe and that the EM in charge should take the responsibility for the misuse of money.
When asked whether he was ready to take on the role of the leader of the opposition in the KHADC, he said, “As yet I am not a leader of the opposition but the Parliamentary Party leader of the Congress. I may take the role or I may not as it all depends on the majority.”
Replying to a query on filling the vacant seat of the Chairman, he said, “As per the AD rules, the secretary of the KHADC has to send the resignation letter to the Governor through the District Council Affairs (DCA) department. The Governor can appoint a pro tem Chairman till the date is fixed to convene a special session.”