Regional parties raise pitch against ‘beef ban’

SHILLONG: The three regional parties in the State – UDP, HSPDP and KHNAM – voiced their concern on issue of ban on cow slaughter in separate meetings with BJP national president Amit Shah here on Wednesday.
Objecting to the purported ban on cow slaughter, the UDP said that people of the North East would neither accept any such imposition on their food habits nor tolerate any breach of the Constitutional provisions.
“Your government is trying to circumvent not only the Constitution of the country, but also the age-old practice followed by many Indians, the several judicial pronouncements including the Supreme Court order on ban on cow slaughter, one of the most famous being the ‘Hasmatullah versus State of Madhya Pradesh (AIR 1996 SC 2076)’ wherein it had stated that banning of cow slaughter ‘has imposed an unreasonable restriction on the Fundamental Right under Article 19 of the Constitution,” the UDP stated in a memorandum submitted to the BJP president.
Referring to the ‘Ghar Wapsi’, the UDP said ‘the party is apt to the current mood in the nation’.
“These irritants have been a blot in the developmental fabric of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and we in the UDP are observing with keen interest, your party’s slogan and government programme of ‘Ghar Wapsi’. However, we would caution that utmost care should be taken, that the inherent provision of the Right to Freedom of Religion under Article 25 of the Constitution should strictly be adhered to, while in the euphoric implementation of ‘Ghar Wapsi’, please ensure ‘Ghar Torna Nahi’ as India is firmly united than ever,” the regional party said in the memorandum.
The UDP team consisted of party president Donkupar Roy, working presidents Bindo Lanong and Paul Lyngdoh, legislator Jemino Mawthoh and party general secretary Allantry Dkhar, among others.
The HSPDP also raised concerns over anti-Christian activities under the BJP regime.
“We raised the issue of ban on cow slaughter, the law and order situation in Meghalaya and the need to implement the Inner Line Permit in the State to prevent influx,” party leader Ardent Basaiawmoit said later.     The HSPDP also raised the issue of the inter-state and the Indo-Bangladesh border disputes.
“The BJP president conveyed to us that the party is not against any religion and the BJP would not go for any forceful ban on cow slaughter since it is a State Subject,” Basaiawmoit said.
A KHNAM delegation consisting of party leaders Adelbert Nongrum and Pyndap Saibon, among others, also expressed its opposition against the move of the NDA government to ban cow slaughter.
The delegation also stressed on the need to uphold the values of secularism.
KHNAM also demanded adequate measures to address the issue of influx, and objected to uranium mining in Meghalaya.
UDP, KHNAM blame Congress for KHADC mess
The UDP and the KHNAM blamed the Congress for the ongoing political instability in the KHADC while raising the matter with the BJP party president.
Both the regional parties, albeit separately, appraised the BJP leader of the Congress government’s ploy to destabilize the KHADC led by regional parties.
“The Congress government in the State has been instrumental in effecting instability in the KHADC,” the UDP stated in a memorandum submitted to the BJP president.
The UDP pointed out that the State government had recommended Administrator’s Rule ignoring the fact that the ruling coalition enjoyed majority in the House. “The State Government even refused to comply with the Governor’s advice to reconsider its decision to impose Administrator’s Rule. This is a classic case of the Congress’s traits of manipulation and subversion of Constitutional authority,” the party said.
The UDP also mentioned that the Congress government had extended the tenure of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council unconstitutionally on three occasions to continue to be in power.
The KHNAM urged the Central government to appoint a full-fledged Governor for Meghalaya. The delegation also sought the intervention of the Centre to prevent the Congress-led State government from trying to dislodge the KHADC EC.
Strangely, however, the HSPDP did not make any mention of the KHADC affairs during their meeting with the BJP chief.
‘Militancy a result of Congress mis-rule’
The UDP also stated that the Congress-ruled states in the North East, in particular Meghalaya, are gravely entrenched in misrule and corruption, thus giving rise to militancy and other forms of law and order situations.
“Many of the frustrated youths are venting out their frustrations, anger and reactions in forms counterproductive to the overall development of the State and the region as well,” the UDP memorandum stated.
The party pointed out that there were serious allegations of the politico-militant nexus with respect to the ongoing problem in the Garo Hills, and a charge sheet to this effect had been hand delivered to the President, copies of which were sent to the then Prime Minister and Home Minister but no action has been forth coming.
“It is noteworthy to mention, that we have a Congress Chief Minister (Mukul Sangma) who has lost the moral right to govern, by virtue of the fact that his own constituency has been reeling under the direct diktat of the militant outfit GNLA, and has been experiencing a total lock down for the past two months and is currently facing an indefinite bandh called by GNLA,” the UDP said while questioning the Chief Minister’s right to continue in the post since he had failed in bringing peace and normalcy in his own constituency.
According to the UDP, “Many major scams involving the tainted Ministers and Congress leaders, seem to have vanished into thin air, while on the other hand, the overflowing influx from neighbouring countries, which are the Congress vote bank(s) are causing serious demographic imbalances in this part of the country.”
“Unless some effective, concrete and amenable approach is worked out from the Centre, this menace will jeopardize the future of the country,” the UDP said.
On the issue of boundary dispute, the party said that the protracted boundary disputes of the state is another clear example of the Congress’ avid agenda of increasing its vote bank politics at the cost of illegal immigration and the decision of the UPA government to fence the international boundary, 150 metres from the zero point has been opposed because this will only result in loss of huge tracts of land that have been historically and until now belonged to our people.
“Presently, the government has been adopting measures through the election department, in the garb of enrolment of voters, by posting officers that are not sensitive to the demographics of the State, who have been found to be encouraging immigrants along the border areas, to enroll in the voters list, that has resulted in incidents of communal disharmony, and this could be the genesis of another major law and order problem in the State,” the UDP said.
On the developmental front, the UDP said, “The airways in Meghalaya is being plagued by the inability of the state government to effectively make them commercially viable hindering the process of economic development. As a party, we are not averse to a cargo or goods’ rail connection up to a designated area, a few kilometres inside the State, but we have vehemently opposed the current plan of connecting the state’s capital, on grounds of environmental degradation and serious demographic imbalances.”
Referring to the National Green Tribunal’s ban on coal mining that has had repercussions in the economy of the State, the UDP said that the absence of a Natural Resource Management Policy and the lack of political will to use these resources for the benefit of the State is a glaring example of gross misrule of the Congress for furthering corrupt practices.
“The recent natural calamity that affected the Garo Hills sector of the State, which suffered immensely because of the floods, will require an in-depth study, so as to prevent such disasters from recurring,” the memorandum stated.

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