TURA, March 31: Appealing to the voters from Garo Hills to exercise their franchise and bring back the Congress to power in the upcoming GHADC elections, Congress leader Mukul Sangma has promised transformation in the Council.
The former chief minister undertook a series of campaign programmes for the party candidates, including one at Dengnakpara MDC constituency where his sister-in-law, Sadhiarani Sangma, is seeking a second term in the Council. She is the wife of Mukul’s brother, Zenith Sangma.
“We are seeking people’s support to bring back the glorious days of the GHADC, which is going through its worst crisis right now under the NPP-led Executive Committee, where salaries of employees haven’t been paid for almost three years,” Mukul said.
Dreading that the current situation could result in the closure of the district council and the establishment of the Panchayati Raj system, Mukul said that the powers of traditional institutions such as Nokmas and Sordars can be stripped.
“We need to be united to fight for our rights,” said the former chief minister.
It is, however, worth mentioning that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had, in his recent election meetings, dismissed the premonitions of the closure of the Council and the introduction of the Panchayati Raj system.
Conrad has also accused the Congress of spreading disinformation and instilling apprehensions among people, eyeing on votes.
NGEA questions CM’s announcement
Meanwhile, the Non-Gazetted Employees’ Association (NGEA) of the GHADC, on Wednesday, questioned the announcements made by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma during his election campaign and on social media about the funds accorded by the Centre to the GHADC.
The NGEA pointed out that same had been done in the past years but nothing was done on part of the state government to solve the salary crisis in the district council.
President of NGEA, Senora Johny Arengh, said, “We fail to understand why the Chief Minister is announcing the allotment of funds to the GHADC during his campaign. This is not something new and on numerous occasions the Finance Ministry has sanctioned huge amount of money as financial assistance to the GHADC”.
According to Arengh, during the years 2015-20, the Ministry of Finance had sanctioned huge amount to the GHADC to develop areas which fall under Sixth Schedule, some of which included the Rs 100.71-crore grant sanctioned under Special Assistance of Central Plan Scheme, Rs 28.66 crore for 2016-2017 as financial assistance, grant worth Rs 13.6 crore released for 2018-2019, Rs 31 crore released as grant again for the year 2018-2019, Rs 24.53 crore for 2019-2020 and Rs 18.20 crore for 2020-2021 for the implementation of projects to develop the tribal areas in Garo Hills.