Saturday, July 20, 2024

MDA govt washes hands off Rakkam’s ‘hate speech’


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SHILLONG, June 21: The MDA 2.0 government has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma’s alleged hate speech.
Cabinet Minister and MDA spokesperson, Paul Lyngdoh on Friday said the speech was made in an individual capacity.
“What is crystal clear is that Rakkam Sangma spoke in his capacity as a leader of the National People’s Party and not as Meghalaya’s education minister. It was a political platform,” he said when asked to comment on the Voice of the People Party (VPP) filing an FIR against the education minister.
Stating that there are certain laws dealing with hate speeches, Lyngdoh said, “Now that an FIR has been filed, the due process of the law will be followed and the matter will be taken up by a court, which will hear the complainant and the minister involved.”
He said he felt the MDA has no role in the case of Sangma as it is a coalition of parties. “As a spokesperson of the MDA, I represent only the government of Meghalaya. I cannot answer for speeches made by individuals as part of the electoral process,” he added.
The VPP filed the FIR against Sangma on Tuesday for his alleged communally-laced speeches during the Lok Sabha election campaign in the Garo Hills “to promote hatred and ill-will among various communities” in Meghalaya.
The FIR, lodged by VPP finance secretary Danny Langstieh, was submitted to East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Sylvester Nongtnger.
Giving the background of the incident in the FIR, Langstieh said the minister concerned said the VPP would destroy, kill, oppress, and annihilate other communities “which is totally false, concocted, and outright incorrect”.
State BJP vice president and GHADC MDC from Tura, Bernard N. Marak justified the VPP’s FIR and its demand for Sangma’s resignation if proven guilty.
“The VPP’s point of view is justified. Whatever he said is against the VPP and a certain community. Since he has taken the name of the VPP, they have the right to file an FIR,” he said.


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