MDA Govt: An assessment

Editor,

It is high time to evaluate the performance of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government in the last 4.9 years. This is the first Government that has dared to physically handle the highly explosive border issue. The first phase of the border settlement following six areas of border disputes between Meghalaya and Assam was sealed by the signing of the MoU between Meghalaya’s CM, Conrad Sangma and Assam’s CM, Himanta Biswa Sarma in Delhi with the blessings of India’s Home Minister, Amit Shah, in spite of protests from various stakeholders. The second, but the final phase, is the settlement of another six areas of border disputes between the two states which is not expected to be a cake walk. The MDA Government must determine not to keep the issue pending if it means business but it ought to reach the final settlement once and for all like the first phase. If it does so, it will be the greatest achievement of this Government.
Insofar as the other issues are concerned there is nothing worth mentioning here other than the routine government activities and here too there are many sectors which are found badly wanting. Whether we look at health, education, roads and communications, power, public health and sanitation, environment, forests, soil conservation, agriculture and horticulture etc., there is no improvement at all. In the social sectors there are no signs of improvement; instead, there is deterioration galore. Trade and commerce is stagnating; the economy is shrinking, the gaps between the minority rich and majority poor are becoming wider with every passing year. Inflation is soaring every passing day and making life even more difficult for the poor. Unemployment is rising at an astronomical rate while the MDA government is recklessly indulging in spending sprees and useless exercises like expensive exhibitions like the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival, Meghalaya Kayak Fest, Autumn Festival, Megh Film Festival, Winter Tales, Me-gong Festival et al. In total these fanfares add up to about 15 crores only for the coming autumn, not to take into account the previous years except during COVID. Then we have the spending spree in trips to Delhi and abroad by the CM, Ministers and officials: the spending spree on paying crores of rupees to so many Advisers to the Chief Minister, Chairpersons of Boards and Corporations. Add to this the huge expenditures on Commissions manned by so many retired bureaucrats. Then we have the scams in various Departments such as the Power Department, the new Assembly building project, road projects, the ISBT project, Water Supply projects, Coal mining and transporting, Transport, Health – COVID expenses, revenue leakages and so many other countless irregularities.
So where are the achievements? What type of progress report does this government give us the people of Meghalaya especially the VOTERS for 2023 ? I am afraid there are only negative reports except for the daring border settlement which remains inconclusive at the time of writing of this letter.

Yours etc..

Philip Marwein,

Sr. Journalist,

Shillong-2

SC to adjudicate on inclusion of Secular & Socialist in Preamble

Editor,

In the last week of this month the Supreme Court is likely to hear a case filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy ex- member of parliament which is related to inclusion of words Secular and Socialism during the period of Emergency. The apex court is to decide the validity of inclusion of these two words in the Preamble of the Constitution. As the matter is sub-judice we cannot discuss the merits and demerits of the case. We know that for any introduction of Constitutional amendment the fundamental concept is whether the consent of the common man was taken. This is the main credential for any constitutional amendment. To underline the importance of public opinion or consent, I quote the following four cases.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once called a joint Parliament Session to discuss the Hindu Code Bill and when one of members asked Nehru why he is calling a joint session when there is no opposition to this Bill, his reply was that in a parliamentary democracy public opinion/will is a must otherwise democracy will have no meaning. In the NDA-1, twice an Ordinance was issued on Land Acquisition but the Government failed to satisfy the other parties on what will be the status of occupants of rental land. Ultimately Government did not introduce the Bill in Parliament. A third instance is in Judicial appointments where the Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament as well as by many states but it was challenged in the Supreme Court and the Government lost the case because it had not taken any public opinion in this matter. The last and recent example is the repeal of three Farmers’ Bills where public opinion was missing. During the Emergency public opinion was never sought but rather imposed on them. Hence it is better to let the Supreme Court decide on the inclusion of the words Secular and Socialist in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Yours etc.,

Yash Pal Ralhan,

Via email

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