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Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui, on Wednesday, said that the state BJP leadership should first demand the resignation of Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa before asking him to step down.
“The BJP leaders from Meghalaya should first ask for the resignation of the Karnataka Chief Minister after five people have died on January 21, 2021, in the explosion at a quarry in Hunasodu village of Shivamogga, which is his home constituency. The BJP being a national party should first introspect,” Rymbui told reporters while reacting to the demand made by BJP president Ernest Mawrie and BJP MLA Alexander Laloo Hek for Rymbui to step down following the death of six miners inside a coal mine in East Jaintia Hills district.
Asserting that the BJP leaders in the state should not focus only on Meghalaya, Rymbui said that they should also look at incidents which are taking place in other parts of the country.
“The BJP should also see what is happening in the party,” Rymbui said.
“It is not the question of declining or accepting responsibility. I am here as a Minister being sponsored by the UDP or not by anyone. I am holding this portfolio because of the responsibility shouldered upon me by the Chief Minister,” he said.
“I am not a coward. People who hail from Riwar region never shy away from responsibility and challenges. Even there is a problem I am always ready to see and overcome all the challenges,” Rymbui said.
The Home Minister also stated that he loves criticism, as it gives him “more vitamins to perform much harder.”
“If there are any shortcomings, I will try to improve. I have the right to perform my duties to the best of my ability,” he said.
Rymbui said that the investigation concerning the death of the six coal miners is still ongoing.
“I am yet to receive a full report about the incident. We would like to have a proper investigation into this matter,” Rymbui said.
“We have picked 17 people up for interrogation, and the landowner of the coal mine is Lal Bareh. But he (Bareh) is not doing the mining himself. We cannot just blame or pick up anyone to calm down the situation. If the charge sheet is being done, it should be able to be proven in the court of law,” he said.
Rymbui also informed that two years back, the Government had set up committees in all districts headed by the respective Deputy Commissioners to curb illegal coal mining.
“The committee is expected to carry out periodic inspections to the various coal mines to see if there is any illegal coal mining,” he said.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)