Meghalaya chief minister to complain against Agatha

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SHILLONG - Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Wednesday said he would register his complaint with Prime Minster Manmohan Singh against union Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha K. Sangma for trying to disturb the fragile law and order situation in riot-hit areas in the state.

He accused her of moving in the disturbed areas against the district administration’s advice.

“I am going to write the prime minister against the minister of state (Agatha) for her distasteful behaviour. A junior minister is supposed to coordinate with the state or to criticize the government? Has she been directed by the prime minister to do so? Are they (trying) to restore normalcy or further escalate the violence?” said the chief minister.

Ten people have died so far and scores injured in the violent clashes between Garo and Rabha tribes that began Jan 1. Nearly 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes and are staying in relief camps in Assam and Meghalaya.

Hundreds of houses were burnt down in the riot-hit areas of the state.

“This is a distasteful behaviour. When the state government is trying to normalise the situation their movement in disturbed areas against the district administration’s advice will only worsen the law and order situation, which otherwise was limping back to normalcy,” he stated.

Criticising Agatha, her brother and Meghalaya’s Leader Of Opposition Conrad K. Sangma and their father and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma for not paying heed to authorities’ advisory, the chief minister said: “It is presumed that they (Sangmas) are taking advantage of the situation for their own political interest instead of coordinating with the state government.”

On Jan 7, Agatha, her brother and father had a narrow escape when a mob of inmates of the Chotumatia relief camp of Assam’s Goalpara district tried to attack them.

Mukul’s verbal attacks on the Sangmas assumed significance in the wake of their opposition Nationalist Congress Party lambasting the chief minister for rushing to New Delhi during the riot.

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