SHILLONG:

With the Meghalaya Assembly Elections around the corner, the opposition parties have been leaving no stones unturned in criticizing the ruling government, mudslinging and showing their resentment in one or the other form.

Taking the same stance, the Congress, on February 24, yet again took a dig at the NPP led MDA government and the BJP over a number of issues that has become political tool for them to fight the upcoming polls.

Speaking to media persons, INC Spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamad, AICC Media Coordinator Bobbeeta Sharma, General Secretary MPCC Sanjay Das alleged that the government is looting the people of the state and highlighted various issues which the according to them the government has overlooked.

Alleging that the government has neglected the teachers, the Congress leaders claimed that  Meghalaya has the tag of ‘worst performing’ state in the field of education according to the Performance Grading Index 2021.

“The weakness in Meghalaya’s education system has been exposed every time teachers took to the streets demanding either a pending salary or regularisation of job,” they said.

Stating that the Congress is committed to restore the dignity of all teachers in Meghalaya, they said, “There will be no more delay in salaries. Our teachers don’t have to resort to dharna or protests for their legitimate demands. We respect you and your profession and your justified demands will be fulfilled because we respect the dignity of your profession and acknowledge your selfless service.”

The Congress also vowed to protect the Sixth Schedule, which according to them, the BJP Government at the Centre has proposed to amend.

“That means in the near future the entire Sixth Schedule which gives protection and safeguards the rights and identities of the indigenous tribes of Meghalaya could be scrapped,” the Congress claimed.

In the same voice, the Congress also alleged that the BJP poses threat to the Christians, STs, and identity of the people of Meghalaya.

“The BJP does not believe in the regional aspirations of the people in the states but wants to bring everyone under one umbrella of language, faith, food, dress  and even colour,” they alleged.

Citing a recent example, INC Spokesperson Shama Mohamad said, “Recently Janajati Dharma Sanskriti Suraksha Manch (an organisation backed by RSS) has demanded the removal of the Scheduled Tribe Status of converted Christians. This is against the spirit of respecting the indigenous ethnic origin of the Scheduled Tribes of the North East, especially the Christian community in Meghalaya and Nagaland.”

Shama also questioned the BJP for their demand on Unform Civil Code, stating, “The BJP’s demand for a Uniform Civil Code throughout the country shows its majoritarian mindset and poses a threat to the unique cultural identity of the tribes of Meghalaya and other North Eastern States. What is their stand with respect to Meghalaya and the other North East States that have their own unique customary laws?.”

Among other others, the Congress promised to maintain freedom of press which is critical in the functioning of a democracy. The party also promised to provide pension and other benefits to journalists.