SHILLONG, Aug 26 – Opposition members from Garo Hills today demanded a Special Session of the Assembly to discuss the prevailing lawlessness in the Garo Hills region.
The three-hour-long meeting, convened by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma at the Secretariat and attended by 13 of the 24 MLAs from the Garo Hills region, had a discussion on the law-and-order situation in the district.
Most of the MLAs proposed initiation of actions to reign in the militants, while Garo National Council legislator Clifford Marak demanded a Special Session of the Assembly so that the issue could be discussed thoroughly and a collective strategy chalked out.
Marak's demand found support with the other Opposition MLAs from Garo Hills, such as Saleng Sangma (Ind) and James Sangma (NPP). Although the Chief Minister did not commit anything during the meeting, he said that a similar meeting would be held again in Garo Hills.
Emerging from the meeting, Sangma told waiting reporters that the views of the MLAs have been noted, but in the same vein added that there are "different platforms apart from the Assembly" to discuss such issues of law and order.
The Chief Minister said the government wants to bring a rehabilitation package for the militants to bring them out of the jungles.
Today's meeting assumes significance for as the Chief Minister was convening the meeting, at the very moment some senior Congress leaders from the State are meeting party high command Sonia Gandhi to remove him.
Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president DD Lapang and senior Congress leader from Garo Hills Salseng C Marak are in New Delhi together with Transport Minister HDR Lyngodh to meet Sonia.
Both Lapang and Marak are former Chief Ministers and Marak is one of the few Chief Ministers, after Meghalaya's first Chief Minister Captain Williamson Sangma, to complete a full tenure.
Speculations are that the Chief Minister is slated to reshuffle his Cabinet and that Transport Minister HDR Lyngdoh and Environment and Forest Minister Prestone Tynsong may be axed.