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CM justifies Guv’s proposed address to House in Hindi

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SHILLONG, Feb 9: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has come out in support of Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan who is scheduled to address the House in Hindi on the opening day of the Budget session on February 16, saying that rules allow anybody to speak in any language provided they supply the copy of the speech in English and that is being done.
The chief minister was reacting to the controversy over the use of Hindi language by the Governor instead of English, one of the three official languages of the state.
“There is no issue as we are following the rules,” the CM said on Friday, recollecting that Assembly Speaker Thomas A Sangma has stated that he has made provisions for simultaneous translation of the Governor’s address.
He also recalled that depending on the situation, many MLAs have spoken in different languages in the Assembly.
Asserting that the Governor has limitations and hence he will be speaking in Hindi, the chief minister said there is nothing wrong in that.
“I think what is more important is the content in the Governor’s address and more importantly the discussion that we will have on important issues related to the state. I think we should focus on that,” Sangma said.
The Trinamool Congress, however, claimed that the Governor’s scheduled address in Hindi was nothing short of a brazen attempt by the BJP-led central government to impose Hindi in Meghalaya, undermining the “linguistic pride of Meghalaya”.
TMC MP, Saket Gokhale told the Rajya Sabha on Friday that the BJP in Meghalaya has supported the Governor’s scheduled address in Hindi language.
“The Meghalaya BJP leaders even incorrectly claimed that Hindi is the national language. Let me highlight that Hindi is not a national language; the official language of the State of Meghalaya is English. Meghalaya also has a proud linguistic culture that includes the native languages of Garo and Khasi,” Gokhale said.
Stating that despite repeated demand by the people of Meghalaya as well as his party TMC, the Union government has not yet included the Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, he said, “In this context the Meghalaya Governor choosing to address the Assembly in Hindi instead of the state’s official language English is nothing but a brazen imposition of Hindi.”
He said the attempt by the Union government to forcibly impose Hindi which is barely spoken by 46 per cent of the population on the rest of India was a matter of shame.
“When our Constitution mandates English as our official language, the imposition of Hindi over English and vernacular languages by the government is a shocking disregard to states which do not speak Hindi,” he added.

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