Mukul struggling for power after Pala’s takeover of Meghalaya Congress: NPP
The National People’s Party also said that in the eight years of Mukul Sangma-led Congress governance, the state was put through power cuts every year, resulting in “3,840 hours or 160 days of complete blackout for the people of Meghalaya.”
The National People’s Party (NPP) on Tuesday said that Congress opposition leader Mukul Sangma’s “image and control over the party” is at stake for the 2023 elections with Vincent Pala assuming the post of state party president recently, due to which Mukul is "repeatedly trying to fool the public."
“Meghalaya’s Congress has undergone a restructuring recently after months of power struggle and infighting, at the centre of which was Mukul who was trying to pull all strings by himself,” NPP spokesperson Nickey Nongkhlaw said in a statement.
“It is a real possibility that Mukul will not be the face of the party anymore no matter how desperately he tries. With other Congress members trying to step up, the only thing both Mukul and Zenith (Sangma) can now do is try and manipulate the public to win their favour or else be sidelined,” he added.
Speaking of Zenith’s recent statement, where he alleged that the government is trying to lease MeECL assets to private entities, the NPP spokesperson called it “laughable” highlighting that Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma had stated in the past that no asset of the MeECL will be privatised.
“It’s amusing how Zenith in his statement himself recognises the NITCON as a public sector undertaking (PSU), and in the same breath says that the government is leasing away assets to ‘private bodies’. Does he not know the difference between a PSU, which is government-owned, and a private entity?” Nongkhlaw said, adding that the Congress spokesperson came unprepared in front of the media.
Turning to the allegation of Zenith, wherein he accused that the current government is trying to monetise unproductive MeECL assets, Nongkhlaw said that Zenith did not justify why monetisation of unproductive assets is wrong. Nongkhlaw also added that the NPP-led government had invited all stakeholders in the past to have a dialogue about MeECL’s financial viability, including the opposition Congress party.
“But the Congress refused to have any form of constructive engagement, despite knowing that the current financial constraints of MeECL are a problem created by the Mukul Sangma-led Congress itself. Is the Congress party only good at mindless criticism and corruption?” he asked.
Nongkhlaw highlighted that in 2017, during Mukul’s tenure, many privatised deals of MeECL were signed with Renew Joule Private Ltd. to take away the power department’s mandate of setting up power plants.
“He targeted Ri-Bhoi district, Mendipathar and Ampati for this privatisation deal. In the same year, he signed deals with ETA Star Infrastructure Ltd, Brijraj Power Metallics Ltd and MSGC Power Ltd for taking away small thermal power projects of MeECL and handing them over to these private companies. Mukul gave away a huge amount of MeECL’s money to these companies, literally making the department crippled with debt,” he said. “What sort of an arrangement did Mukul have with these private players? Why did he use MeECL’s money for a private deal?” he questioned.
Nongkhlaw further attacked the former Chief Minister stating that he handed over the cancelled projects to NEEPCO, which further dealt a damage to the MeECL as that meant having a financial obligation towards the NEEPCO for this development.
Turning to the Mukul-Zenith brother duo, he said that it is time for them to introspect into their positions in the Congress alleging that the party is struggling to hold itself together due to the severe infighting and internal power struggles.
Speaking of Zenith’s allegations of “eyewash” in the name of an enquiry into MeECL, Nonghkhlaw said, “The current inquiry panel consists of three respectable former judges. The Congress is willing to go the distance to disrespect the credibility of the members of the inquiry panel. However, even if the Congress is willing to fall to that level just to make a public image, they are free to knock any legal doors.”
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