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Congress legislator from East Shillong, M Ampareen Lyngdoh on Friday, reiterated the party’s stand on the demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.
“We are clear in our stand. In light of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and, the normal areas in existence in Shillong that do not fall under the 6th Schedule, we are asking for ILP so that check and balance can be implemented,” Lyngdoh told TNT-The Northeast Today on Friday.
Lyngdoh’s statement came days after a Congress legislator from Assam, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha submitted a letter to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma stating that ILP if enforced in Meghalaya, will obstruct the regular movement of people from nearby states.
“I don’t care what he said; that’s his opinion. He never consulted us when he made that opinion. He is entitled because he is also a stakeholder in the system. To me personally, that letter is irrelevant,” the Congress legislator said.
Stating that party legislators and MPs are entitled to speak against the demand for ILP in Meghalaya, Lyngdoh said, “We cannot gag legislators from commenting on any agenda. It is better that they speak but they speak from a different state; they may have their own take on this but they are not stakeholders of the state of Meghalaya."
“This is our state; we are the stakeholders and, we will not allow any factor to come and dictate what we should and should not do,” she added.
The legislator from East Shillong, a constituency where most parts fall outside the jurisdiction of the District Council, explained why these "normal areas" in the city should come under the ILP regime.
“In light of the CAA, least there will be efforts put in, in the future to also convert some parts of our state into a union territory. These are very dangerous trends,” she stated.
Reacting to allegations on the “hypocrisy” of the Congress regarding the demand for ILP in Meghalaya, Lyngdoh said by default, the Congress too, as a political party, has the right to discuss an issue which is relevant to the current scenario.
Justifying the Congress’ stand on ILP, she said that when the party was in office, there was no law which was as “dangerous” as the CAA.
“Things have changed; situations were not the same as they were 10 years down the line and, in this situation, because the Government of India themselves accorded ILP to the entire state of Nagaland, we have the right to demand the same because like Dimapur, we also have Shillong city where there is a large area referred to as “normal areas”,” she stated.
The pandora box was reopened in a very big public forum and it was the decision of the government of India to implement ILP in the entire state of Nagaland that had given hope for other states like Meghalaya, Lyngdoh pointed out.
“Now when Meghalaya has brought a resolution on this and, with the Congress sitting in the opposition, we have to wait and watch,” she said adding that the state government should come clear and share whenever communication is sent by the government of India so that there is no ambiguity on the matter.
AMPAREEN ON MRSSA AMENDMENT BILL, 2020
Commenting on the Meghalaya Residents' Safety and Security Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Congress legislator said, "We are in the dark. We are not privy to that information unless the government so deems fit to call all political parties to a common meeting to understand the observations made by the Governor to the state government."
"If there are still some more errors in the Act that was passed in 2016 and amended in 2018, then it should have been brought to a common table for all of us to understand. If that does not happen, then we are just gossiping on the matter," she added.