Former Congress legislator from Mawlai, P T Sawkmie, has accused the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) of changing colours by doing a U-turn on the issue of inner line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.
Sawkmie, who recently resigned from the grand old party, is seeking re-election from the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the upcoming assembly election.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an election road show organised by the UDP in Mawlai, Sawkmie said it was unfortunate that the TMC had started changing colours even before the election process had started.
He pointed out that when TMC came to Meghalaya, its chairperson had assured that the moment the party came to power it would demand ILP in the state, but its vision document released recently makes no mention of the subject.
He also recalled that TMC leader Mukul Sangma during his tenure as chief minister had not accepted the proposal for implementation of the ILP in the state.
“The document now speaks of Meghalaya Residents Safety Security Act. That is also very important but we understand that ILP is more important than the MRSSA,” Sawkmie said.
On the other hand, Sawkmie said that the delay of the Centre to grant ILP for Meghalaya is due to lack of sincerity on the part of the NPP government and the chief minister.
Alleging that the NPP is not in favour of ILP, he said, “The chief minister in his speech during the recent visit of Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to Shillong never spoke anything on ILP. From that itself, we could understand that sincerity is not there.”
“That is why we don’t like legislators with double standards because when you are a leader you should not feel shy to speak about the needs of our people, especially for protection of the tribal people – Khasi, Jaintia and Garo,” he said.
MoU TO BE SCRAPPED
Sawkmie also assured that if the UDP were to form the government then the party would scrap the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the Assam government to resolve the six areas of difference along the interstate border.
“I am very clear that the day the new government is formed, let us hope UDP will lead the government, the MoU will be scrapped,” said Sawkmie.
He also referred to the orders passed by the Meghalaya High Court and Supreme Court following a petition filed by stakeholders and said, “We don’t want to take the land belonging to Assam and we don’t want to lose an inch of our land as it affects sentiments.”
Sawkmie further alleged that there is lack of maturity on the part of the NPP-led government in handling the border issue.
“The NPP always makes decisions in a hurry as if the world will end today. That is why whatever they are doing, there is always a mistake,” he said.