By Our Reporter, Shillong News | Shillong, Feb 19, 2018:
The United Democratic Party (UDP) on Monday stated that if the party comes to power after the ensuing Assembly polls, it will try to address the major problems faced by the people with mining and influx being some of the top priorities of the party.
The party informed that they will come up with a mining policy which will be in accordance with the The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of the Central Government and which will not be in conflict with the stakeholders especially the mine owners if the party is able to form the Government.
“We make a commitment to come up with a comprehensive mining policy if we are voted to power after the elections. We will formulate a policy which will not be in conflict with the stakeholders,” UDP working president, Bindo Mathew Lanong told newsmen after the release of the party’s manifesto here on Monday.
Stating that ban on coal mining in the state has affected many people, Lanong criticized the Congress Government under the leader of Dr Mukul Sangma for not implementing the mining policy which was formulated in 2011.
“We have formulated a comprehensive policy which had addressed all concerned during the Government which the UDP was part of. But no one knows on the fate of the mining policy,” Lanong said.
The UDP working president, at the same time, ridiculed the assurance of the Bharatiya Janata party that it would resolve ban on coal mining issue within 180 days.
“The assurance of the BJP to resolve the issue within 180 days is unrealistic. The assurance is mere lip service,” Lanong said.
When asked about the proposal of the State to hand over the mining of coal in the State to the MMDC, UDP president, Dr Donkupar Roy in his reply said that the party is yet to discuss on the matter.
Responding to queries if the party will press for Inner Line Permit (ILP) to address the concerns of influx, UDP leader, Paul Lyngoh said that influx is a dimensional subject and it a multi pronged approach will be initiated to address the problem adding that the party in its manifesto has touched upon the demographic balance which the state needs to maintain and taking measures such as setting up of anti infiltration directorate and fast track courts to deal with the menace.
On the demand of the GNC and HSPDP over the separate Garo Land and the Khasi-Jaintia State, the UDP president that the party is has made a commitment to support the creation of a separate Garo Land while at the same, the party is yet to discussed at length on the need to create the Khasi-Jaintia state.
Expressing confidence that UDP will install the Government in Meghalaya, Lanong lamented that the State Government since 9 years have not been able to setup music and sports academy in Shillong even as he informed that around 88 acres of land which was earmarked for sports facilities in New Shillong Township have been allotted to other departments.
Donkupar Roy also assured that the party would provide free education to children from BPL families till the graduation level besides it would create a corpus fund to ensure that salary of teachers are never delayed.
“We will try our best to see that state is free from corruption,” Roy said.
Earlier, Lanong also maintained that article 371 is applicable in Meghalaya even as he opined politicians not to touch a subject which they don’t understand.