Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Friday slammed the BJP-led NDA Government for the alleged delay in examining the state government’s proposal to resolve the National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining. The chief minister also warned the people of the state about a “misinformation campaign” on the issue. “What prevents the BJP government from further examining this or are they intentionally blocking it… that means they are conniving to deprive our people from the benefit of the provision of the Constitution,” he said. He was reacting to BJP leaders’ claim recently that it would resolve the ongoing NGT ban on coal mining in Meghalaya within a span of six to eight months if elected to power in 2018.
The state government had taken up with the Government of India (GOI) to invoke Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution in order that the provisions of the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act, 1973 and MMDR Act 1957 are exempted through a presidential notification. “The outcome of such exercise is that Centre has constituted a Committee headed by the Union Cabinet secretary to examine this proposal of the state government as per the provision of the Constitution of India,” he said.
The members of the Committee constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) also include secretaries of ministries of coal, mines, environment and chief secretary of Meghalaya. He said a number of meetings had taken place and that the state government was sincere in this regard.
Questioning the delay, the chief minister said, “Are they (BJP) trying to clandestinely deprive the right even if you are delaying and depriving that is also deprivation?”. He also alleged that a misinformation campaign is going on now. Mukul said, “I would like to warn our friend from this misinformation campaign because what does the law of the land provides…”.