Meghalaya Assembly Updates: Govt defeats No Confidence Motion


MDA defeats No-Confidence Motion brought by the Opposition through voice vote

Opposition unwilling to withdraw the No-Confidence Motion against the Conrad Sangma-led MDA Government

Put to vote: No Confidence Motion is lost.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma replies to the No-Confidence Motion: Opposition always take the credit for something right and blame us if something is wrong.

Regarding the incidents today, it is appropriate to mention that these kinds of incidents should not happen in the future, we should act responsibly and maintain the decorum.

While questioning the claim of the opposition that the law and order has deteriorated in the past two and half years, the Chief Minister said the fact remains that the law and order situation in the State has drastically improved compared to the previous years.

Law and order: In 2015-2017, 66 militants were killed and in 2018-2020, 3 killed.

Civilians killed from 2015-2017 is 36 and 2018-2020 is 4.

Police killed from 2015-2017 is 9 and from 2018-2020 is one.

Abduction cases from 2015-2017, the number is 210 and from 2018-2020, there were no abduction cases.

Crime against women: 33 percent dropped in 2017-2018 and POCSO cases dropped to 31 percent from 2017-2019.

All trucks and coal movement is taking place legally with proper procedures, valid documents and there are no illegal coal movement and the task forces does the monitoring process.

Illegal coal: 'I am compelled to mention the facts', CM said.

2013-14 to 2017-18 audit report mentions that illegal coal is being transported to the tune of 27.87 lakh metric ton and the state's exchequer lost Rs 180 crore of revenue.

COAL: Coal economy needs to be revived. It is our duty. NGT ban in 2014, the then govt did not challenge the NGT ban in Supreme Court, maybe there is match fixing. It was only after we came to power that the ban was lifted.

Health: Replying to the queries made earlier, the CM said: Rs 399 crore should be seen as govt's commitment that people of the state are safe. Money spent on the interest of the people.

Education: We got sanction for 40 EMRS schools after we took over, he said.

Through the intervention of North Eastern Council (NEC), Meghalaya which will invest 7 crore will benefit the returnees, who are mostly youths.

Entrepreneurship is key for this govt. 'We started by recognising young entrepreneurs and came up with Meghalaya entrepreneurs award, e-championship award and with incubation centres: CM Conrad.

Youth policy: Contemplating to come-up with e-coupons to target all youths in the state, the government's intention is to become first state in the country, where every youth are skilled.

There will be service providers, who will train these youths.

Skill and hobby coupon is six-month course each and a total of Rs 30-50 crore is expected to be spent on this policy.

Infrastructure: 'We are not trying to sideline the old projects, we tried our best to come out with money to fund these projects', CM said.

"We have agreed to sanction Rs 16 crore to complete the model schools that were started in 2011-2013 but stalled due to lack of funds": CM Sangma.

Ganol Hydel Power Project: In 2014, when the project was tendered out, the estimated cost as per Detailed Project Report (DPR) was Rs. 116 crore but when the work was allotted, the amount went up to 248 crore. "Maybe brilliant scripting done at that time" - Chief Minister Conrad Sangma hits out at Opposition Leader Mukul Sangma's statement on "brilliant scripting" and "criminal minds".

Roads: Important roads like the Nongstoin-Maweit road will be repaired. 53 villages will get new road, thanks to the World Bank project, CM said.

Including Riangdo road, Balat road, Dadenggre road and others, he added.

The CM recalled the contribution of (L) Dr Donkupar Roy, who worked tirelessly to see the new Assembly building in Mawdiangdiang, which is completed.

"I am hopeful that in 2022, budget will be presented from the new Assembly building", he said.

"For long, we have been in Shillong in terms of congestion, it is time that we move forward, that we take the administration to new campus, all offices in one campus. We need to decongest Shillong city. We are working on this project."

Meghalayan Age Company: It was a requirement to form the company and the Authorised capital was Rs 5 crore and paid up capital was 1 crore.

House adjourned for 10 minutes.

CM Conrad Sangma to speak after the break.

Leader of Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma supported the No-Confidence Motion.

Taking part in the no-confidence motion, Leader of Opposition, Dr. Mukul Sangma alleged that scripted modus operandi has managed to penetrate the corridor of power to loot the State.

Referring to the illegalities in the power sector, he said that the Government has awarded the contract for implementation of the Saubhagya schemes to the firm from outside the State which is more than 50 percent of the actual cost reflected as per the Schedule of Rates (SOR), based as per the Detailed Project Reports prepared by the MeECL.

Referring to the alleged illegal mining and transportation of coal, Leader of Opposition said that the State will continue to be looted and robbed if the present Government remains in power.

He said: "32 lakh metric ton doesn't exist, govt closed its eyes and allowed transportation of the coal. Is it not necessary to find out the truth?"

"These are not mere allegations for the sake for alleging the government. Complete the auctioning of the coal at one go, why are you delaying?"

"This govt has to go, we need a new govt", he said.

North Shillong MLA, Adelbert Nongrum neither supported or opposed the No-Confidence Motion.

Why hasnt police not chargesheet anyone on Ichamati case? If they cant, give it to CBI.

Who control business in Meghalaya?

No transparency in recruitment.

Nongthymmai MLA, Charles Pyngrope supported the No-Confidence Motion.

South Shillong MLA, Sanbor Shullai opposed the No-Confidence Motion.

He raised COVID-19 issues and had asked to co-ordinate with the state govt to deal with this crisis till the end of the full term.

Verbal tussle between Rangsakona MLA, Zenith Sangma and Gambegre MLA Saleng A Sangma, over the law and order statement made by Saleng.

Prestone urges Dy Speaker to expunge the unparliamentary statement from the proceedings of the house.

Rangsakona MLA, Zenith Sangma supports the No Confidence Motion.

Issues raised: Law and order situation on the state, doesn't agree with Gambegre MLA Saleng A Sangma that everything is fine. There were assaults on activists, Them Metor issue.

Mowkaiaw MLA, Nujorki Sungoh opposed the No-Confidence Motion

Listed down the number of schemes received from the present government in terms of roads and connectivity, launching of many developmental projects for the state, launch of Lakadong mission, progress of schemes in agricultural sector.

Rongara Siju MLA, Rakkam A Sangma opposed the No- Confidence Motion

He said: How can the opposition that has failed on many occasions give advice to the state govt on the same issues?

Glory and image of our state is restored under the leadership of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.

West Shillong MLA, Mohendro Rapsang supported the No- Confidence Motion.

Issues raised: Water supply - rusty pipelines, lighting infrastructure, and water remain the same even when the city is expanding.

Maintenance of street lighting system, health system including 1500 KW Sonapani hydel project of 1922, a 99-old-project is in a pathetic condition, the channel is blocked and no rectification to the problem has been taken yet.

Lack of responsibility towards our assets, lack of parking areas in Shillong with an increase in the number of vehicles every year.

No plan to ease traffic congestion in the city, price rise, economic activities across the state gone down.

Sohra MLA Gavin A. Mylliemgap opposed the No- Confidence Motion.

He praised the state govt. for its achievement in several sectors, all-around development in all sectors, the use of technology to make a system of governance more effective.

Mawlai MLA, PT Sawkmie supported the No-Confidence Motion.

Intention of NCM is push the govt to do better. In politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies.

Intention is to urge the govt to act now for interest of the state.

Issues raised: Smart city, medical colleges, pending bills of contractors, municipal building - not functioning even though the building is completed, staff of SMB functioning without proper office, sweeper lane issue - when will we see the report, crow-borough building - when will the hotel be completed?

Gambegre MLA Saleng A Sangma asked the state govt to look into the issues, matters seriously and not to carry over these problems.

Labour issues: it seems God has sent the Covid-19 to discipline us. This time, illegal labourer entering the state has to register.

One of the victims of militancy, my house my blasted, my people killed.

At least this time, we are living freely without fear and tension. If any situation comes out, nib it in the bud.

Education: Lots of education scams, officers become victims, students are expelled, it's because of the failure of the administration, this sector should be given priority.

I don't want the govt to follow what our predecessors done.

The state government should look into the Health and education in uranium rich area of Nongbaj Jynrin under South West Khasi Hills.

He oppose the NCM brought by opposition.

Daylight robberies: Limestone, coal and stones. People calling this govt Meghalaya Dewiong (coal) Alliance, glaring example of failure by govt.

Farmers: Sought for launching of ginger mission but to no avail.

During pandemic, vehicles regulated on odd even basis, till now, farmers cannot come to Shillong because this system is still enforced, and asked them to go back home with produce.

Coal trucks are not checked, but farmers vehicles are checked. Why is this?

COAL: A total of 32 lakh metric ton yet to be auctioned and legal mining not started yet; these activities have not yet started, where did the coal come from? CM quoted the MMDR act, I asked for the source.

Is this the way to cover up the act, why endless transportation of coal happening? because of this, entire state is suffering as the Shillong by-pass is in such a dilapidated condition because of overloaded truck plying endlessly.

If the haphazard movement remains unchecked, the dam will collapse, connectivity will be affected and state will plunge into darkness.

Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLA Samlin Malngiang opposed the NCM of the opposition.

Present govt under CM, this govt done a lot of developmental activities in the state.

When I was the PHE minister, I was surprised to find out that there were no schemes in 2018 when took over, met CM to discuss the importance of PHE, and CM is young and dynamic, and listen to my suggestion.

For 2018-2019-2020, received sanction of 500 crore to improve this department.

Jal Jeevan Mission, launched in Sohiong village. People were happy that water now reaches their homes. This mission targeted to completed by 2023.

It is a challenge for the deptt to complete this task but we need to speed and move forward.

Meanwhile, George Lyngdoh supported the NCM

Lacunae in governance.

Rajabala MLA, Dr. Azad Zaman said 'nothing is happening', while raising issues relating to recruitment, non-fulfilment of vacancies, failure in C&RD department-- anomalies in NREGA implementation but not streamlined, in ground reality.

Nongpoh MLA, Mayralborn Syiem, raised issued relating to unemployment, Water supply, housing schemes besides others.

Epidemic Disease Amendment Bill 2020: Why are criticism being levelled against the Meghalaya govt? - MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh

There are glaring announcements in the middle of the night.

As a citizen, when the DIPR (Department of Information and Public Relations) vehicle comes, it is a panic-stricken move.

How many citizens warranted that kind of redressal? To lock them up and asking them to lock their gates, such acts are stigmatising them.

Opposition Congress MLA, Ampareen Lyngdoh: Don't refer to everything in the past. Nothing is stopping anyone from making things right if the previous govt couldn't.

We stand to present criticisms with hopes that things will be right. How can an MLA take away the achievements of the previous govt. in terms of insurgency? Past governments and future governments, all have one intention and that is to serve.

When I raise issues, it is with intention to try to get govt. to step in and take measures. Of late, there have also been decision taken by the Government of India in Parliament and outside Parliament without consulting state govts. This is a dangerous trend.

Why do I feel I have no confidence on certain central rules taken up by the state government?

Social security Bill 2020 - What were the advisories of our govt with regards to wages? Has the govt. considered the inclusion of privileges for pregnant women engaged in public and private sectors and workers in unorganised work base?

They are unable to find schemes in our state when they are unwell, we have seen that the pandemic hits people on the streets who are suffering.

Demonetisation: Since 2016, markets are falling and continue to fall. Market fall during pandemic is a continuation since demonetisation.

What is the effect of lockdown? 41 lakh youth alone lost their jobs. 45000 returnees facilitated to come back. Are they employed or unemployed?

Now with the formation of this new government, there is hardly any news of kidnapping in the state especially in Garo Hills, says Estamur Mominin

How has the incumbent govt become subject of criticisms?

There should be a special mention of the Ichamati incident and how it was cooled down with help of NGOs in a short period of time. Even for the Citizenship Amendment Act, it was Conrad Sangma who ensured that Meghalaya, under Sixth Schedule, was exempted from this act.

NPP's Phulbari MLA, Estamur Mominin: I rise to oppose the no-confidence motion. How has the opposition brought this against this govt?

But I feel good that today's discussion will give knowledge to the people on how the state could be developed under the leadership of Conrad and his council of ministers. Today's discussion will give light on governance by previous and present govt.

I am convinced that this govt has failed to address the issues faced by people: Shangpliang.

The company, Meghalayan Age Ltd., was floated on 17 June 2020 by three senior officers of the govt. This company has shown and authorised capital of 50 crore and paid up capital of 10 crore.

Where did so much money come from? Was it done by the knowledge of the cabinet?

This company is involved in business activities and its official address is Meghalaya House, New Delhi. It called for tenders for designs of tourism projects in the state.

Why couldn't this tender be called by tourism dept.? It appears it was created to flouts the rules and to by-pass scrutiny. This company should be scrapped.

EDUCATION: Teachers are the worst affected community, HM Shangpliang says.

The govt. is yet to upgrade lower primary schools to upper primary. Border scholarship have not been disbursed since the last two years.

When is the govt. releasing scholarships?

Why has the education minister failed to fulfil assurance on the issue of deficit teachers made in the August house?

No other state is experiencing this delay in payment of salary to Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) teachers with the exception of Meghalaya.

Mushrooming of coke plants in West Khasi Hills district, in Shallang and Dorengre, is a cause for health hazards. Out of 20 units set up, only 3 obtained approval. Absolute lawlessness. HM Shangpliang said

Crime: Rise in crime against women and girls is a major concern.

The law enforcing agencies like police has big role in speeding trial and conviction

In 2015, a girl was sexually abused in Garo Hills. FIR was lodged but the police failed to take action nor was the accused arrested.

In 2019, the same case was handed over to another police officer and only then the accused was arrested. After four years of committing the crime, finally the arrest took place.

Home Minister (Lahkmen Rymbui) is the only man to give an explanation for this but he is not here. If this is the attitude of police, how can the victim and the family expect justice.

POSCO 2019- 265 cases, pending trial - 173 cases, pending investigation - 89 cases

2020- 123 registerd till june, chargesheeted - 19, pending investigation - 102 cases

Food: 7 lakh of population are without ration cards. Such people are deprived of the The Right to Food. How soon can the govt. distribute 7 lakh ration cards to people?

Over fifty thousand ration cards are pending to be issued, said Shangpliang

Mining: Illegal quarrying of stones are being carried out rampantly without any regard to the law. People involved in this illegal mining of limestone in Bagli area number in  hundreds. The govt is losing money. These boulders are supplied to Bangladesh without any single money paid to the govt., said Shangpliang

Referring to the CAG report, HM Shangpliang said that the govt. has failed to realise Rs 36.12 crore of Meghalaya Minor Mineral Reclamation (MMMR) Fund from cement companies

Mukul Sangma attacks the Conrad Sangma, who also holds the position of the Finance Minister, for being absent when the discussion is on-going as it refers to his department.

HM Shangpliang: This is the worst period in the history of the state. There were a lot of hope and expectation from the govt. to deliver and provide the basic amenities to people but it has failed.

Reminding CM on the lack of banking facilities in rural areas, he said: Set up more banks and ATM in rural areas. As of now they are overcrowded and the protocols of COVID are being violated while making a queue to withdraw or deposit cash in these villages. People start queuing up at 3 am in the morning. It is just sad as most of the schemes are related to the banks. Why is the govt. not taking any action?

He added: Farmers are suffering, markets are closed down and vegetables compelled to rot in the field. The Agriculture department has surrendered an amount of about Rs 9 crore for not being able to utilise the amount. This money was to help the farmers and could have been used to assist them and to bail them out from financial crisis during this pandemic.

He urged the CM to return the 9 crore to the farmers. "It is their right. The Minister concerned is not aware of what is happening in his dept."

"Release all pending funds to the depts. and MLAs as well."

Congress MLA HM Shangpliang, while moving the debate on the no-confidence motion, said that the MDA Government has failed to deliver and provide the people of the State with basic amenities.

No confidence motion discussion begins.

Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh said that he will be calling the proceedings of the House and then make his ruling later in the day.

James Sangma on the comment made by him earlier: I meant it in right spirit and not in derogatory manner. It was an advice, no disrespect meant.

Chief Minister reacting to this debate stated that the reaction of the Umroi MLA is over dramatic.

Unhealthy precedence, not in consistent within the decorum of the house, can't have a whimsical interpretation of the rules: Opposition leader Mukul Sangma.

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong maintained that the statement was not derogatory or unparliamentary.

George demands an apology.

George also demanded that the remarks made by the Power Minister should be expunge from the proceedings of the House.

In reference to the power question raised earlier, heated argument between George and Prestone over the comment made by James on "do your homework."

George got offended and said that this is an insult to him and the people of Umroi.

Greater Selsella Water Supply Scheme - Going by the snail's pace, will the project see the light of the day? Has the govt. pulled up any contractors or has any payment been held up? - Legislator Ferlin Sangma asks PHE Minister RL Tongkhar

PHE Minister replies: No contractor pulled up or penalised. There is delay because there were other reasons and because payment was very late. First instalment was made in in 2012, second in 2016, third in 2017.

What is the fate of the 'Cabinet on the Move' programme of the government wherein meetings were proposed to be held in different district headquarters on rotation? - INC legislator Zenith Sangma raises

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma replies that the programme has been suspended temporarily.

Expenditure incurred so far in holding cabinet meetings in Tura and Jowai is Rs. 19,18,221

Logic behind this is to bring administration closer to the people.

Zenith replies back. Says that with officers on the move and preparations for engagement taking almost a week, there is paralysis of the departments in the district.

Conrad disagrees. Says it is not simple exercise and it is not just about a meeting but a review of the projects. He adds that decisions can't be made just sitting in Shillong. "When we go there we feel it more. There is nothing wrong in doing this and there is better delivery."

Zenith replies back: How does holding cabinet meetings bring administration closer to the people when they are not allowed to attend the meeting? Not even the MLAs are allowed. Its a waste of public money and I see no benefit people are getting from this.

Some villages have no electricity, but they still get the bills - raised by NCP legislator Saleng Sangma

Power Minister James Sangma in reply said that such villages maybe de- electrified villages that had electricity once upon a time. But due to damaged transformers, the line was cut.

Saleng Sangma disagreed and asserted that such villages had no electricity at all. He quoted examples of areas like Gambegre.

In reply, James Sangma said that he will ask the dept. to enquire upon the matter as it is a serious issue. He said that if any malpractice is found, action will be taken.

Conflicting bills: Will the meter readers in smart concept to allow consumers to pay at their doorsteps? Asked INC legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh.

Reply of Power Minister: Bills will be read remotely. Serving of bills will become easy in terms of sending them through SMS, E-mail or Whatsapp

Smart meters will have prepaid capabilities as well.

Role of meter readers will become redundant, system will become seamless.

Additional employees have been recruited on contractual basis to address shortage of meter reading staff as of now. Permanent solution will come from technology like smart meters, hope it rolls out soon and we look forward to 100 percent reading in the entire state, gathering usage patterns and many other advantages. There will be a transitional phase but we foresee things will improve in a much better manner.

For 2019-20, the consumers have not billed and the bills have been dumped all at once - Question raised by INC legislator George B Lyngdoh.

Power Minister's Reply: Bring it to the notice of the Power Dept. if any such incident has happened.Are consumers allowed to bargain on bills levied by MeECL?

Are consumers allowed to bargain on bills levied by MeECL? - Question raised by INC legislator George B Lyngdoh.

Power Minister's Reply: There is no question of bargaining. The tariff is not set by MeECL but by the regulatory body (Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission). The tariff is revised every year. Consumers can send petitions to the body for revision by the MeECL.

The MeECL has got huge liabilities and has to take care of the salaries of the corporation.

Power Minister James PK Sangma informed that the ADB has approved the project to introduce smart meter systems.

Assembly Updates: Power Minister, James PK Sangma rules out waiving-off of electricity bills during lockdown period.

He however Informed that the Government has waived off delayed payment charges.