‘CM suffering from selective amnesia’

TMC spokesperson reacts to Conrad’s sneer

SHILLONG, Sep 27: Trinamool Congress national spokesperson Saket Gokhale on Tuesday shot a return volley at Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma claiming that the latter was suffering from selective amnesia. Gokhale reminded CM and his government of his open debate challenge on various alleged scams and irregularities.
“I challenge your government to an open debate in front of the press about issues in Meghalaya namely Smart Electricity Meters, contractor cronyism in the Meghalaya Assembly Dome collapse, irregularities in Shillong Smart City Ltd., Saubhagya Scheme, and the Police Vehicle Scam,” said Gokhale in a letter addressed to the CM on Tuesday.
“I’m sure that a government that is honest about its track record should have at least one minister confident of defending the government in a public debate with the Opposition in presence of the media,” he added.
The CM had, on Monday, declined to debate with “any Tom, Dick or Harry” and had stated: “I don’t know who Saket Gokhale is.”
Reminding Sangma of their dinner meeting at a famous restaurant in New Delhi in 2019 where they had discussed a wide range of topics, Gokhale elaborated that he is the national spokesperson of the second largest opposition (Trinamool Congress) in parliament and the biggest opposition party in Meghalaya.
He wanted to know why the MDA Government was reluctant to engage in a public debate if they have not resorted to any unscrupulous practices and have nothing to hide. “It is to debate the issues of misgovernance in Meghalaya, for which, you do not need to know me,” he explained. In the letter to the CM, Gokhale also pointed out that several people from the ruling NPP have used arbitrary excuses to escape from debating the prevailing misgovernance in Meghalaya, including Rajya Sabha member and NPP state president WR Kharlukhi.
Addressing the CM, Gokhale wrote, “I look forward to your response and for a suitable date anytime according to your convenience in the first week of October for a public debate with any minister you would nominate against me from the MDA Government.”
Gokhale had earlier challenged Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong to an open debate on the blatant misgovernance by the NPP-led government. However, Tynsong is yet to come out with any substantial response.
Reacting to the NPP’s reluctance to engage in a debate, TMC legislator George B Lyngdoh said: “It is not surprising that the government is evading any kind of reply or a straight answer when it comes to pulling up their socks and facing the people of the state.”
“Inside the Assembly we are termed as liars while outside the Assembly we are termed as Tom, Dick and Harry. It just shows the kind of attitude the government has toward those who have the guts to raise voices and ask questions on behalf of the people,” he said adding that the government is arrogantly trampling the voices which dare to ask questions.

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