The House met at 9.30 A.M. with the Speaker in the Chair.
It was a Private Members day.
Unstarred Questions Nos.15, 16 and 18 to 21 were disposed of with supplementaries thereto.
Reply to Unstarred Question No.17 was laid on the Members' table.
The House resumed discussion on the following Resolution which was moved by Shri. E. Iawphniaw on the 22nd March, 1979;
"Whereas the Government had failed to conduct the poll at Hakumari polling station, Rambrai-Myriaw District Council Constituency, East Khasi Hills, on the 19th December 1978 and to provide adequate security measures to enable the people to exercise their franchise and;
Whereas the Government had fixed the 15th January, 1979 as the tentative date for repoll in the above polling station and again failed to conduct the election due to inadequate arrangement and lack of protection to the people in that area; culminating in depriving the people of the Rambrai-Myriaw Constituency to have their own elected representative in the Khasi Hills District Council;
Now therefore, this House calls upon the Government to order a repoll without any further delay, as any procrastination would tantamount to a subversion of the democratic rights of the people".
Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh (HSPDP) blamed the Government for its inability to protect the democratic right of the people of Rambrai area by not ordering a repoll at Hakumari which was interrupted by the Assam Police. Shri. P.G. Marbaniang shared the opinion expressed by Shri. Rowell Lyngdoh.
The Leader of the Opposition, Shri. S.D. Khongwir, charged the Government with inaction to forestall the trouble at Hakumari although they could apprehend trouble before the election was held. Shri. B.B. Lyngdoh (APHLC) was of the view that criticising the Government for its inability to hold the election was one distinct issue while ordering repoll in the said village was a different matter altogether.
Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy (APHLC) expressed the view that Hakumari fell inside the disputed area and therefore ordering a repoll under present situation was out of the question as the Government had no total administrative Control over the area.
Shri. Mukul Das (IND.) also shared the above view including Shri. M. Rahman (Janata). Shri. H. Hadem (HSPD) disagreed with the view expressed by Shri. S.D.D. Nichols Roy alleging that the repoll was possible and that is why the Returning Officer issued a notification for repoll.
Replying to the discussion, the Chief Minister informed the House that the Government was as concerned as the hon'ble members participating in the discussion and as a matter of fact, the Government stood committed to the decision that the polling would be held as soon as possible but stated that such a recourse at the present moment was not safe, nor would it be in the large interest of the State as a whole.
The Resolution was thereafter withdrawn by leave of the House.
Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP) moved :-
"This House do now discuss the necessity of widening all the roads within Shillong town in view of the present traffic congestions due to increasing number of vehicles."
He contended that the above measure was necessary in view of the increased number of vehicles plying in Shillong Town posing great danger to the pedestrians.
Shri. G. Mylliemngap (APHLC) also shared the view of the mover,
In reply, the Minister of State for P.W.D., Shri. S.P. Swer, stated that it was difficult and expensive to acquire land for the purpose of widening the roads. He further added that National Highway No.44, passed through Shillong and hence congestion caused by vehicles passing through the Highway was to some extend in-evitable.
(ii) Motion No.3 of the Balloted list was not moved.
(iii) Shri. E. Iawphniaw (HSPDP) moved the following motion :-
"This House do now discuss the urgent need to open a Government College at Nongstoin being the headquarters of the West Khasi Hills District".
It was his feeling that a college was necessary for the West Khasi Hills District considering the fact that there were a good number of High Schools in the District.
Shri. Manik Das (MULF) expressed the view that a college at Nongstoin was necessary as the areas was backward and the population justified the establishment of such a college.
Replying to the discussion, the Minister of State for Education, Shri. U. Kharbuli, informed the House that the Government of India was not very much in favour of establishing new colleges and as per the norms laid down by the University Grants Commission, Nongstoin, which happened to be the District Headquarter of West Khasi Hills District, just did not have the infrastructure for starting a college which could meet all the requirements of the students. On the other hand, the Government of India was stressing more on the improvement of the quality and standard of the existing colleges than to go in for new colleges.
(iv) Shri. E. Iawphniaw (HSPDP) moved :-
"This House do now discuss about the interference of the Government with the duties of the Chairman of the Khasi Hills District Council on 13th February, 1979."
He alleged that the Chairman of the District Council was not allowed to discharge his duties by the Administrator although the Council was duly constituted. Shri. H. Hadem fell in line with the mover and termed the action of the Government as highly irregular, illegal and unconstitutional.
The Chief Minister in his capacity as Minister for District Council Affairs, denied that the Government had in anyway interfered with the duties of the Chairman. he apprised the House that the Government order taking over the administration of the Khasi Hills District Council was still in force on the date when the Chairman of the Council was elected. This order was revoked only when the Executive Committee was elected by the Council and, therefore, whatever action Government had to take prior to this, was in conformity with the existing laws.
(v) Shri. H. Hadem (HSPDP) moved :-
"This House do now discuss the necessity of immediate creation of four police battalions for the State to enable the State to cope with the different exigencies in the border areas".
He justified his contention in the face of atrocities of Police personnel in border areas adjoining Assam and other acts of provocations.
Shri. Manik Das (MULF) expressed the view that additional Police Battalion was necessary in view of the intrusion from the other side of the border with Assam, as well as to deal with day-to-day law and order situation in the State. But he cautioned the House that other important factors also counted for raising battalions of the army. The discussion was inconclusive when the House rose.
The House adjourned till 9.30 A.M. on Wednesday the 28th March, 1979.
|Sd/- D.S. KHONGDUP,|
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.|