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SHILLONG | Dec 08, 2019:

At a time when Meghalaya and the entire Northeast are worried over the proposed tabling of the much-opposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 the statement made by Meghalaya Governor, Tathagata Roy has stirred controversies with the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) making it clear that Roy should not meddle with politics and “stick to his constitutional obligations”.

According to media reports, the Meghalaya Governor, Tathagata Roy had, in Kolkata, said that that the Bill is a step in right direction. “It ought to have been done much earlier and I am sure that the central government will pilot it properly,” Roy told ANI.

This statement of the governor has not gone down well with both the political parties and social organisations of Meghalaya.

“The Governor is devoid of the ground realities of the State and is blurting out whatever is in his head and it is good for the state if he sticks to his constitutional obligation rather than meddling with the politics of the state,” said NPP state president WR. Kharlukhi.

Referring to Roy’s statements on the political instability in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the CAB, Kharlukhi said, “I think he has to know ground reality on many things. By not accepting the advice of the state government to impose administrator’s rule in KHADC, it is bringing instability and now the MDC has again shifted”.

“You cannot just blurt out whatever comes out of your mind. At least know the ground realities,” he added.

It may be mentioned that the state government and the governor have been locking horns over the KHADC issue and even though Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma had clarified that there was no power tussle between the state secretariat and the Raj Bhavan, the actions and remarks made by both sides, however, say otherwise.

UDP reiterates stand on CAB

Meanwhile, the ruling ally, United Democratic Party (UDP) president, Metbah Lyngdoh, who is also the Meghalaya Speaker has refused to react on the issue stating that he hasn’t seen the governor’s statement on CAB. Lyngdoh, however, reiterated that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) is not happy and satisfied with the draft bill, 2019. “We have made it very clear that we want the entire state to be exempted from CAB and not just the schedule areas. We will are sending a representation from the MDA to the union ministry to apprise them of our stand,” Lyngdoh said.

Meanwhile, senior UDP leader and former deputy chief minister, Bindo Mathew Lanong observed, “It seems the state government and governor do not walk on the same path; while the government is dead opposed to the bill, the governor, on the other hand, has come out in support of the bill.

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Congress flays Governor’s remarks

The Meghalaya Congress is also of the view that the governor should have been neutral in sensitive matters like the CAB. “He does not understand the sentiments of the people of Meghalaya and Northeast as a whole. Before aligning himself with the intentions of the central government, it is expected that the governor of the state should also take into account the interests and future of the people of the Northeast in general and Meghalaya in particular,” said Congress MLA, George Lyngdoh.

Similarly, Opposition Chief Whip, PT Sawkmie said, the Governor should have opposed the CAB since the legislation is against the sentiments of the people of the State. He further said that as the custodian of the Constitution, he should not have passed this kind of comments. “If he would like to make a comment he should have support the stand of the people of the State. He should have submitted a report to the Centre that the people of Meghalaya are against the CAB,” Sawkmie added.

NGOs condemn Governor Roy’s remark on CAB

Meanwhile, president of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Lambok Marngar has condemned the statement made by the governor and stated that they cannot, at any cost, accept his remark on CAB as it hurts the sentiments of the people of the state.

“He is the governor, he should have been neutral in matters such as these; but by making such statements, it proves that he is not fit to sit in the Raj Bhavan. He is only blurting out whatever his party (BJP) asks him to say,” said Marngar.

Similarly, chairman of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (COMSO), Robertjune Kharjahrin said the governor should resign on moral grounds. Kharjahrin said that while the Meghalaya government is opposed to this bill, the governor has taken an opposite stand bu supporting the CAB.

“He no longer has a moral and legal right to continue as governor of the state. If he wants to give his personal opinion nobody can stop him, but let him resign first as governor and then give his personal opinion on any matter,” said the COMSO Chairman.

It may be mentioned that Union Home Minister Amit Shah is all set to move the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, in the Lok Sabha. The matter is listed in the day’s business for the Lok Sabha.

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