SHILLONG, April 08: Uproar marked the Budget Session of the Meghalaya Legislative assembly on Monday, which resumed after a recess of 16 days, when the HSPDP legislator Ardent Basaiawmoit threatened to make the Assembly a theatre by singing instead of debating on issues pertaining to the people of the state when Assembly Speaker AT Mondal turn down his request for Adjournment Motion to discuss the illegal encroachment of Meghalaya land by the Assam government in Sabuda in Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya.
The firebrand legislator also asserted that he will not listen to rules that curtail right of members to raise such serious issues.
Before Speaker Mondal could call the House to Order just before the Question Hour, Basaiawmoit stood up to move an Adjournment Motion to discuss the land grabbing issue by Assam.
But Mondal turned down referring to the rules as the same issue would be taken up during the question hour. Temper flew and heated arguments were witnessed between the member of the ruling and the opposition bench.
A disappointed Basaiawmoit threatened to treat the assembly as a theatre and sing instead of debating on issues like the one he tried to raise. “I will sing and make the Assembly a theatre if the issue is not allow to be discussed,” he said.
Assam has allegedly been constructing an entrance gate and an SBI building at Sabuda village, besides destroying a road from Jatalong to Umjaknieh constructed under MNREGA and illegally collecting taxes in Nongtung area of Ri Bhoi district.
According to Basaiawmoit because of the indifferences of the Meghalaya government, Assam is continuing to encroach in Meghalaya’s territory.
Forest minister Prestone Tynsong tried to intervene saying rules should be respected, but only managed to provoke further.
NPP legislator James K Sangma and Basaiawmoit and three other opposition legislators said that the issue is serious and has been pending for a very long time affecting the people living in the border areas of the state.
An enraged Basaiawmoit shouted, “I will not listen to rules on such a serious issue and rules cannot curtail right of members to raise issues concerning the state.”
Replying on the same issue raised by UDP legislator Paul Lyngdoh, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma assured the House that “necessary steps have been taken to ensure that such type of incident do not occur in the future.”
On the allegation that the Assam government had damaged road, Dr Sangma said, “The matter has been taken up and discussed between the two governments in which it has been agreed that necessary actions against those involved will be taken even if it is the police.”
Basaiawmoit, Hopingstone Lyngdoh and KP Pangniang had also raised concerns over the continuing atrocities by the Assam government on the border people living within Meghalaya and the dismantling and restricting local villagers from constructing their houses in Langpih area.
Allaying their fear, the CM informed that the Deputy Commissioner of West Khasi hills has taken up the matter and submitted a report stating there is no instances of restriction of construction of private houses by the Assam government in Langpih.
Dr Sangma asserted that the government is committed to ensure that people living in the borders are not subjected to any kind of atrocities.
He also urged the members and people to bring to the notice of the government by furnishing information and details on any harassment by Assam side in order for the government to take it up with its counterpart in the interest of the people.