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From Our Correspondent | Tura, Aug 06, 2018: 

Former South Tura MLA, and Independent candidate, John Leslee K Sangma will use Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s take on work permit for workers from Bangladesh and reservation in Higher Technical Education as a “weapon” against the leader of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) in this upcoming South Tura by-poll.

The former MLA, who filed his nomination papers for the South Tura by-poll today, asked the people of Tura to choose wisely as the CM had already been responsible for quite a few major goof ups while referring to the CM, Conrad Sangma’s take on work permit for workers from Bangladesh as well as his recent comments on the issue of higher and technical education.

Leslee said that the current election was one of regularization and as such, the people of South Tura need to understand what they were going to get.

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“Since the formation of the state, there has always been camaraderie between the various tribes on the issue of reservation for higher and technical education and its reservation policy. While there was no document on the matter, it was decided by our early leaders to maintain the same reservation (40-40) in this aspect as well,” said Leslee.

He pointed to the lack of knowledge of the CM, “which has now put the entire fate of the Garo community – in terms of higher and technical education – at stake.”

“He recently came out on the matter and stated that there was no reservation in Higher and Technical Education (THE). However this was always there in spirit and has since become tradition and culture though it may never have been penned down. His statement has put the future of many youths at stake,” felt Leslee.

The former MLA also added that Garo Hills was always at a drawback when compared with the other parts of the state and now looks very likely to lose out on most of the seats in the HTE section, only because of the CM’s statement.

On the matter of work permits to Bangladeshis, the Leslee said that at a time when the entire region was looking at weeding out illegal immigrants, the proposal made no sense.

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“We don’t share a border with Dubai or America and most of the people who go there are specialists in their line. However in the case of Bangladesh, we not only share a border but most illegal immigration comes from that country. This is a direct invite to them to rob us of our jobs that would not only deprive us but also create more illegal occupational problems in the future,” said Leslee.

The former MLA felt it was now for the people of Tura to decide whether they should regularize the temporary CM.

“This is not the time to think of development when the future of our children is in danger. Everyone should rise above party politics to protect our people and our land,” said Leslee.

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