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Mining, influx, unemployment among UDP’s top priorities

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.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya: UDP rules out possibilities of working with Congress, BJP

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.

ALSO READ:Meghalaya Politics: ‘UDP-GNC only option for people of Garo Hills’, says UDP Secretary

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.


NCP candidate’s killing portrays utter chaos & lawlessness in Meghalaya- Rajnath Singh

From Our Correspondent

Williamnagar, February 19, 2018

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone N. Marak portrays utter chaos and lawlessness in the state of Meghalaya.

Addressing an election rally at Songsak in East Garo Hills, Singh grieved the death of Jonathone N Sangma – NCP’s candidate for the Williamnagar seat – and said his gruesome murder was the outcome of the Congress government’s failure on the law and order front.

Eye witness recounts spine chilling story of NCP candidate’s murder in East Garo Hills

From Our Correspondent

Tura, Feb 19, 2018

The shocking murder of NCP candidate from Williamnagar, Jonathone Sangma has sent shock waves through the entire state in view of the upcoming MLA elections. The unprecedented killing of the leader was a first of its kind in Garo Hills.

Frenetic residents had sought information once the killing through the use of and IED came to light, though official sources remained tightlipped over the matter until the filing of this report. However eye witness account of what exactly transpired last evening has thrown more light into the matter.

Rs 17 lakh cash seized in Khliehriat

TNT News | Shillong | February 19, 2018

As the date for elections approaches closer and Meghalaya readies itself for polls on February 27, instances of pre-poll violence and cash seizures are on the rise despite the vigilant eyes of the concerned authorities.

In yet another instance of cash seizure, sources have informed that an amount of Rs. 17 lakh has been seized by police in at Umtyra in East Jaintia Hills, 8 days before the polls. As per sources, the amount was seized at around 2:15 pm today from new Alto Maruti 800 which was reportedly a hired vehicle. The name of the person from whom the money was seized has been identified as Sanjay Garg and he claimed to be an employee of RK Roadways Pvt. Ltd.

Williamnagar NCP candidate killed in brutal IED attack!

Shillong News | Williamnagar | February 19, 2018

As poll bound Meghalaya approaches closer to election date, reports came in that unknown assailants  attacked a vehicle carrying Jonathone N Sangma, an NCP candidate from Williamnagar along with 5 others at Denanggre in East Garo Hills at around 7.30 pm today.

Initially, official sources were yet to confirm whether he died or survived the gruesome attack, sources on the ground later confirmed that the candidate lost his life along with 3 others which took place today evening. Jonathone was traveling in white Scorpio.

As per a statement issued by Williamnagar SP R Momin, 4 vehicles including a Scorpio in which the deceased candidate was traveling was found at the scene of the crime. Four bodies were found on the spot among which NCP candidate was one of the deceased. The other three bodies are yet to be identified. Three people were also found to be injured along with one police personnel. The sources also reported that the number of injured people may amount to more. The injured were rushed to Williamnagar Civil Hospital for treatment.

Following the death of the NCP candidate, condolences poured in from many while condemning the barbaric act.

“We strongly condemn the incident and we stand by Jonathane’s family at this moment. These incidents shouldn’t take place in a state like Meghalaya”, said Vincent Pala, working president of Meghalaya Congress Unit, and Lok Sabha MP from Shillong.

“It is sad that such an incident has happen in Meghalaya during election. I express my condolence to the bereaved family”, said Conrad K. Sangma, NPP chief, and Lok Sabha MP from Tura.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma also took to Facebook to express himself:

The NCP candidate, who stood second the last election, was one of the front runners this time as well until his untimely demise. He had been threatened by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) numerous times along with his workers with sources pointing to his workers being beaten up by miscreants when they were canvassing for him this time.

Sources also said that posters had been put up by the outfit at various locations across the town warning people from supporting the NCP candidate.

In 2013 too, the GNLA had threatened to attack people supporting Jonathone Sangma and had also floated posters threatening them. He had previously also received similar threats from the outfit.

It may be mentioned that he had filed a case in 2013 against Congress leader Deborah C. Marak for using militants to threaten him during election.

Jonathone was traveling in Scorpio, along with his driver and the two security personnel.

What is also shocking is that there was no official confirmation on the incident for almost 4 hours despite the gravity of the act and the impact it is likely to have on upcoming elections not only in Williamnagar but also in Songsak where workers of the CM, Dr Mukul M Sangma have also been allegedly threatened by the GNLA.


From the Union Min’s expensive Louis Vuitton bag to Rahul’s Burberry jacket, Indian politics & media embraces all!

TNT Desk | Shillong, February 18, 2018

From ‘Suit-Boot ki Rajneeti’ to the politics of expensive Louis Vuitton Bags, Indian political scenario does not fail to amuse citizens and this time, it has happened yet again!

The Union textile minister Smriti Zubeen Irani visited poll bound Meghalaya on Saturday, February 17 as part of BJP’s campaigning programme wherein she spoke about the problems faced by women.

ALSO READ : Meghalaya- Where ‘Suit-Boot ki Rajneeti’ sidelines important issues in politics!

However, some sections of the people seemed to have a problem with the hand bag she carried along with her. The Loius Vuitton bag that cost not less than a Lakh attracted attention from many, especially the Congress men/women who took this opportunity to avenge jibes thrown at Rahul Gandhi for his black Burberry jacket that apparently cost no less than Rs. 70,000 which he wore on his last visit to Tura in Meghalaya.

Social media went all out to criticize the Union Minister for passing comments at Rahul Gandhi’s jacket while she herself chose to carry an even more expensive handbag!

Handbags or jackets, Indian politics, people as well as the media is all embracing of every petty thing that gives them an opportunity to throw jibes at each other while ignoring other important issues. For once, its high time to shift focus on issues that matter!

The writer can be contacted at shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com & shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

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