SHILLONG, April 12: The Congress party has announced a state – wide protest against the proposal of the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma to issue work permits to Bangladeshi nationals to work in Meghalaya.
We are going to have a statewide protest starting from Saturday in the state’s capital and Mendipathar in North Garo Hills District,” the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Dr. Mukul Sangma said on Thursday.
Appealing to the people of the state to extend full support to the protest, Dr. Sangma also vowed that the Congress party will ensure that the present state government is not allowed to adopt this idea that will have far reaching ramification to the state and its people.
“We will ensure that no work permit for Bangladeshi nationals in Meghalaya, a state where you need to protect the microscopic population as this will have an unprecedented ramification and disastrous future to the state and our people,” he said.
The decision was taken few hours after the Congress staged a walk-out during the ongoing Assembly session in protest against the MDA government’s refusal to give up with its chief minister’s idea of issuing work permit to Bangladeshi nationals.
He said that the protest is also in view of the problems already being faced by Meghalaya and the North East region due to influx and illegal immigration.
Dr. Sangma recalled that the state government in preceding years had spent substantial amount of time through exhaustively engaged with the various stakeholders including NGOs to find out ways and means to deal with the problem of influx and illegal immigration.
Stating that a number of initiatives were taken as an offshoot of the engagement, he however said, “Now you come up with this idea as a government which will defeat the whole endeavour of the people of the state. This will not be acceptable by the people of the state.”
The former Chief Minister further lambasted the Conrad K Sangma-led government of talking about issuing work permit to Bangladeshi nations while youth from the state are compelled to go out of the state despite the environment is not conducive for them to stay outside.
He also pointed out that other nations which have adopted stringent laws and yet are not able to get the right kind of system in place to deal with this concern, he said then what system do we have in India to check who is an original citizens because even NPR is not in the final stage.
Dr. Sangma also alleged that the Chief Minister, during the course of the short discussion on the issue was defending his idea by saying that it is for promotion of economic development.
“I don’t know whether he (CM) has authored some books to promote economic development by issuing work permit to Bangladeshi nationals. We want to know which economist had given this advice to him,” he said while asking the MDA not to try and coach the Congress on how to improve the growth rate in the state.
He also said the idea has emanated within one month of the state government led by the NPP, which is an ally of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. “It has erupted like a volcano,” Dr. Sangma said while stating that idea had even got the endorsement of the union ministers.