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Ardent dares MDA leaders to debate with him on MUDA issue

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SHILLONG, April 7: VPP chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit has challenged the entire leadership of the NPP-led MDA Government to an open debate on the issue of the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) encroaching into areas beyond its jurisdiction.
“Everyone has been dragging my name on the MUDA issue. I am ready to stand alone to debate with the MDA leadership, whether it is the NPP or the UDP,” Basaiawmoit told the gathering at an election rally at Lummawbah on Saturday.
According to him, he had raised the issue of MUDA since it was trying to encroach into areas beyond its jurisdiction. “The jurisdiction of MUDA should be restricted only in the urban areas. But we raised our opposition since it was encroaching outside the urban areas,” the VPP chief said.
While suggesting that any of the media houses in the state can  hold the open debate, he said that if they are not ready for an open debate on the MUDA issue then the MDA leadership should keep their mouth shut.
It may be recalled that several villages had blamed MUDA for encroaching on land in the scheduled areas.
MDA leaders had accused Basaiawmoit of taking a U-turn by welcoming the MUDA Building Bye-Laws.
KHADC CEM Pyniaid Sing Syiem, who was close aide of Basaiawmoit during his initial years in politics, had accused the latter of having an alleged link with the then chief minister Mukul Sangma in the matter of the MUDA Building Bye-laws.
Syiem had claimed that the link between Ardent and Mukul was exposed when the former had welcomed the government notification to extend the MUDA Building Bye-laws to areas outside the Shillong Municipality in 2015 after initially opposing it.
“I was at the forefront of the protest led by Basaiawmoit to oppose the notification. But later it was revealed that he (Basaiawmoit) already had an ‘agreement’ with Mukul about the extension of the bye-laws,” the KHADC CEM had said.
Syiem had said initially he was quite impressed with Basaiawmoit for raising issues afflicting the people inside the House due to which he had even joined the HSPDP just to be part of his movement.
The KHADC CEM had recalled that he was elected as MDC of Sohryngkham in 2014 and the MUDA bye-laws issue cropped up a year later when the state government issued the notification due to which people started facing problems in getting building permission from MUDA.

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