Proceedings of the Winter Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled after the first General Election.
The Assembly met at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday, the 18th December, 1976 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Hon'ble Speaker in the Chair.
Four Ministers, three Ministers of State and 43 Members
(Replies to which were pleased on the table)
Enumeration for Ration Card at Shillong
Shri S.D. Khongwir asked :
3. Will the Minister in charge, Supply be pleased to state -
|(a)||Whether fresh enumeration at Shillong for the purpose of ration card has been completed?|
|(b)||If so, the total ration card population (locality-wise may be furnished)?|
|(c)||What is the population vis-a-vis census population of 1971?|
Shri Edwingson Bareh (Minister in charge Supply) replied :
|(b)||- The total ration card population as on 9th
December, 1976 is 3,23,459. The break-up locality wise is given below :
|(c)||- The total census population of greater Shillong according to 1971 census is 1,42,542. At 3.1 per cent of the normal increase per year on 1971 census, the population by December would be 1.70 lakhs approximately.|
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, what was the population of card holders before the fresh enumeration ?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- I cannot follow the question.
Mr. Speaker :- His question was what was the population of ration card holders the fresh enumeration?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- I require notice, Sir
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, did the Government intend to maintain that disparity in the population of card holders and the actual population?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- We are exercising a check, Sir.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- What are the steps intended by the Government to rectify the disparity?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- We are planning to re-check the whole enumeration, Sir.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, was the last enumeration completed?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was completed a year ago.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the exact date?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Food and Civil Supplies) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I require notice for that.
Trip allowance of Drivers and Conductors
Shri W. Syiemiong asked :
4. Will the Minister in charge, Transport be pleased to state -
|(a)||Whether it is a fact that the drivers and conductors of the Meghalaya Transport Corporation are not eligible for trip allowance?|
|(b)||If so, the reason thereof?|
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
|4.(a)||- No. The driver and conductors are eligible
for trip allowance as per rate below :-
|(b)||- Does not arise.|
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether trip allowances is paid regularly?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not paid regularly. But I think it will be paid regularly after we have been able to obtain the accounts.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since when the trip allowance is eligible to the drivers and conductors?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, since the Government of Meghalaya took over the transport undertaking from the Joint Corporation.
Gazetted posts in the Co-operation Department
Shri W. Syiemiong asked :
5. Will the Minister, in-charge, Co-operation be pleased to state -
|(a)||The number of Gazetted posts which have not yet been filled up in the Co-operation Department?|
|(b)||The reasons for not filling up these posts?|
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :-
|(a)||- 10 (Ten)|
|(b)||- Mainly because sufficiently experienced person were not available.|
Shri W. Syiemiong : Mr. Speaker, Sir, since when the posts are lying vacant?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I require notice for that.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, are there any special qualification for these vacant posts:
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know these special qualifications?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it depends upon the post to be filled up by the Department.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, he has crossed already three questions.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- No. Sir, this is my third one.
Mr. Speaker :- He has asked only two.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- But I forgot what to ask also. (Laughter) May we know the special qualifications for the various posts?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It differs from post to post.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Whether these are in the same category?
Mr. Speaker :- You have crossed three. The hon. Members want to know the special qualifications for those candidates who might apply for those posts and the Chief Minister has replied that those special qualifications vary from post to post.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, are those 10 posts of different categories of they are the same category.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- They are of the same category.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether all the categories require technical qualification of other type of qualifications?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Some of them require technical qualification and some of them do not.
Bull fight in Mynso Doloiship
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :
6. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to refer to the replied to Unstarred Question No.12 asked during the September Session, 1976 and state -
|(a)||Whether the place where the bull fight took place on 16th July, 1975 falls within Mynso Doloiship?|
|(b)||Who was the Officer entrusted with the task of enforcing the suspension order?|
|(c)||Whether any Government officer was on duty at the spot where the bull fight took place?|
|(d)||Who has submitted the sport that the said bull fight was attended by a thousand persons and the same passed off peacefully.|
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :-
|(b)||- An appropriate Police Officer.|
|(c)||- No, as the Police partly deputed to the place could not proceed due to very slippery condition of the road.|
|(d)||- The information was based on the report of a Police Office after proper enquiry.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- May we know the designation of an appropriate Police Officer ?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Circle Inspector, Sir.
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, where and when was the enquiry made?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I am sorry Sir, I do not have the information, I require notice.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- May we know the slippery condition of the road, whether it is a foot-path or a motorable road?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Yes, Sir, it is a motorable road?
Shri H. Hadem :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, whether those people going through the foot-path proceeded on vehicles or on foot?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I cannot follow the question.
Shri H. Hadem :- Whether those people who attended the bull fight had to proceed on foot or on a vehicle?
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Hadem I think after the incident then they had to proceed on a vehicle. I cannot allow such question.
Shri H. Hadem :- My question is whether those people who attended the bull fight had to proceed on foot or on a vehicle?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- They went on foot.
Shri H. Hadem :- What made the Police Officer not to proceed as the others proceeded when he is on duty?
Mr. Speaker :- I believe that question has no meaning at all.
Shri H. Hadem :- But it was stated due to slippery condition on road.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He has exceeded three questions.
Shri H. Hadem :- No Sir, I have not crossed, this is the third one. (Laughter)
Mr. Speaker :- You have crossed two and one was ruled out by me.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Whether the slipper road is the P.W.D. road?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is a part of the PWD road.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- From which part to which part it belongs to the PWD?
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- If I am allowed to reply from Jowai the place is only about two kilometers; they have to proceed on foot.
Shri H. Hadem :- That is not correct, Sir.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- We are on bull fight but we have come now to the PWD road.
Mr. Speaker :- But you have not address the Chair.
Shri P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am trying to made a clarification that we are on a bull fight and we have come now to the P.W.D road.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, this place where the bull fight used to take place, it is not on the right side of the main road from Silchar to Haflong?
Shri E. Bareh (Minster, Agriculture) :- Absolutely not.
Shri W. Syiemiong :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know the exact location?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I do not know exactly.
Mr. Speaker :- The answer is too vague, the Chief Minister does not know the exact location. Let us pass on the Question No.7.
D.C's Jaintia Hills Order No.GEN/18/75/20, dated 12th July 1975.
Shri Humphrey Hadem asked :
7. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to lay a copy of the D.C's (Jaintia Hills) Order No.GEN.18/75/20, 12th July, 1975 on the Table?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
7. A copy is placed on the Table of the House.
Shri H. Hadem :- Since it is against the suspension order of the D.C., what action has been taken against the defaulters?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The reply is laid on the Table of the House.
Mr. Speaker :- Since the statement is laid on the Table of the House, have you consulted it?
Shri H. Hadem :- Yes, Sir, on the statement, I have given a supplementary question. My question is since the bull fight has been taken against the defaulters?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Sir, let him repeat the question.
Mr. Speaker :- His question is what action has the Government taken against the defaulters who did not obey the order?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Subject to correction, this question was asked by the hon. Member on the previous occasion. Since there was no incident, I presume no action was taken.
Mr. Speaker :- Since there was no incident, no action has been taken. That reply is very vague. I think this House wants correct reply from the Government, and if the Chief Minister is not in a position to reply, I think he requires notice.
Shri Francis K. Mawlot :- When the suspension was issued whether there was incident or no incident, action must have been taken.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- That is argumentative.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes, in fact, he is repeating the same question which Mr. Hadem has raised.
Announcement by the Speaker
May I report to the House that in the current session, no starred questions and no short notice questions were received and out of the 11 unstarred questions that I have received, all the 11 questions were admitted and out of 11, 7 questions were answered by the Government. So the percentage of answers this this time is 63.03 per cent which is according to the normal reply and we used to receive in this House. Now let us pass on to the next item - Discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1977.
Chief Minister to move Grant No.1
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.1,31,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977, for the administration of the head "255-Police and 260. Fire Protection and Control."
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion. I put the question that an additional amount of Rs.1,31,200 be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977, for the administration of the head "255-Police and 260. Fire Protection and Control. (The motion was carried and the demand was passed)
Chief Minister to move Grant No.2.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.22,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977, for the administration of the head "265-Other Administrative Services-IV-Census, Vital Statistics, Guest Houses etc,"
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question that an additional amount of Rs.22,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977, for the administration of the head "265-Other Administrative Services-IV-Census, Vital Statistics, Guest Houses etc," (The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Chief Minister to move Grant No.3.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs. 2000, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of the payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977 for the administration of the head "265- Other Administrative Services-V-Miscellaneous Administrative Services".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question. The question is that an additional amount of Rs. 2,000, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977 for the administration of the head "260- Other Administrative Services-V-Miscellaneous Administrative Services. ( The motion was carried and the demand was passed)
Chief Minister to move Grant No. 4.
Shri W. A. Sangma (Chief Minister): Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs. 6,00,000, be granted to the Minister-in-charges to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977 for the administration of the head "284-Urban Development-A-General-II-Town and Regional Planning".
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion I put the question. The question is that an amount of Rs. 6,00,000, be granted to the Minister-in-charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March 1977 for the administration of the head "284-Urban Development-A-General-II-Town and Regional Planning".
(The motion was carried and the demand was passed)
Minister, Revenue to move Grant No.5.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.3,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977 for the administration of the head "688-Loans for Social Security and Welfare-I-Relief Measures and Rehabilitation Schemes".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question that an additional amount of Rs.3,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977 for the administration of the head "688-Loans for Social Security and Welfare-I-Relief Measures and Rehabilitation Schemes". (The motion was carried and the demand was passed).
Minister, Revenue to move Grant No.6.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the recommendation of the Governor, I beg to move that an additional amount of Rs.30,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977 for the administration of the head "767-Miscellaneous Loans".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Since there is no cut motion, I put the question that an additional amount of Rs.30,000 be granted to the Minister in charge to defray certain charges which will come in the course of payment during the year ending the 31st March, 1977 for the administration of the head "767-Miscellaneous Loans".
(The motion carried and demand was passed)
Let us come to Item No.4. Chief Minister
The Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya Legislation Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976.
(The motion was carried). Before I ask the Chief Minister to introduce the Bill, let me read the message from the Governor.
"Raj Bhavan Shillong.
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976.
Sd/- Lallan Prasad Singh
Now the chief Minister to introduce the Bill, and before he does so, a copy of the Bill be will be disturbed to the hon. member.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to introduce the Meghalaya appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976 be introduced (The motion was carried).
(The Secretary read out the title of the Bill)
Now, before I ask the Chief Minister to move that the Bill be taken into consideration, let me read the message from the Governor.
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 207 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby recommend to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly the consideration of the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976.
Sd/- L.P. SINGH
Will the Chief Minister move.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be taken into consideration.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill, 1976 be taken into consideration.
(The motion was carried). But since I have received no amendment to the Bill, may I ask the Chief Minister to move that the Bill be passed.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Bill be passed.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now I put the question before the House. The question is that the Meghalaya Appropriation (No.V) Bill 1976 be passed.
(The motion was carried and the Bill was passed.)
Before we pass on to item No.5, I have received a request from the Minister in charge of Revenue that he wants to make certain clarification. The Minister will make a short statement.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday a question was raised with regard to the creation to the West Khasi Hills District. The Government's intention while constituting the West Khasi Hill District was that it should comprise of areas falling within Nongstoin Subdivision as also part of Nongkhlaw Syiemship, Nongspung Syiemship, and Sohiong Administrative Unit which be attached to East Khasi Hills District and thus does not form part of West Khasi Hills District. The notification as issued in the Gazette dated 21st October, 1976 through typing mistake made it to appear that the entire Nongspung Syiemship and Sohiong Lyngdohship would form part of West Khasi Hill District which was not correct. So this was substituted by revised Notification which brought out the correct intention in the Gazette, dated 16th December, 1976.
Mr. Speaker :- So now we pass on to Item No.5. Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh to be move the motion. I give him 30 minutes.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that this House expresses want to confidence in the present Ministry headed by Mr. W.A. Sangma.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved and now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have moved this motion for very serious and very fundamental reasons. Sir, we are in a democracy, and the fundamental and basic nature of this democracy is that the people have a right to choose their own Government, that no Government has the right to govern without the consent of the governed. Sir, I say very very definitely and very clearly that this Government which has come into being three weeks ago, has come through the back door, it has not right to function. This is not the Government that was chosen by the people n 1972. Sir, in 1972, we had the people's choice, 32 A.P.H.L.C. and 9 Congress. So clear was the verdict of the people Sir, 32 A.P.H.L.C. and only 9 Congress and that 9 also with more or less a gift from the A.P.H.L.C. (Laughter). They are laughing the wrong side of their mouth. It is a fact that with due respect the Prime Minister who had Inaugurated the full State on the 21st January that on the 9th March, just over a month, we had given this token respect by giving a few seats to the Congress. Just, Sir, a few days after the 9th March, when we have removed ourselves from the obligations and the Congress contested 30 seats in this District, they won only 4 in the District Council. Therefore, Sir, it is a clear verdict of the people. On the 9th March and in the next month, April, 1972 the verdict of the people was clear. Therefore, Sir, I maintain that this Government through the back door, has no right to function, has no right to govern without the consent of the governed. How has it come, Sir, I am not saying only today, only in the last few weeks, why this Government has to come Sir, I have protested this rightly just one month ago when I resigned from the Government. Sir, I protested against this back door method itself. One month or over month ago I protested in writing on the 8th October, 1976 when this question was discussed in the Central Committee of the A.P.H.L.C when the proposal was passed on the 8th October, 1976 about the matter by the Central Committee then headed by Shri W.A. Sangma now heading the Congress Ministry. In writing I said that in connection with the proposal for merger. On the 8th August 1976 I gave in writing that there was talk of only pressure, of threat, of intimidation and of temptation. In connection with the proposal for merger, Sir, there was only talk of pressure, of threat, of intimidation and of temptation. This is the method and this the approach to which we resented and we protested against the approach of pressure, of intimidation, of threat and of temptation. But this Government has come to power through those methods and those method alone. Therefore, they have no moral right to sit in Power and function as a Government of the people of the State who have given a very clear verdict against such a Government the State who have given a very clear verdict against such a Government in 1972. Yesterday, Sir, I have spoken a great deal in connection with other matters about the arbitrariness or the callousness of the functions and procedure and approach of this Party. Today, I will not say very much because my colleagues also will participate very much . Today I would only say that we are sure that the people are with us when we say only that we are sure that the people are with us when we say that this Government have no moral right to function. We would like to say that 95 per cent of the people have this feeling that this Government has no right to function. Sir, they could have waited for a few months so that the people.......
Shri B. B. Shallam( Minister of State, Border Areas Development) : Mr. Speaker, Sir,..........
Mr. Speaker : Mr. Shallam you are not only an hon. Member of this House but also a member of Ministry.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Ares Development) : Do I have no right to seek clarification?
Mr. Speaker : Not now. This is a no-confidence motion which is quite different from other types of motion.
( A voice - You study the rules first)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Sir, it is only a few months more for all of us to go back to the people and seek their verdict. But they were in haste to come through the back door. But I am sure they were afraid to seek the people's verdict straight and that is why they resorted to this sort of manipulation, intimidation, temptation and corruption. Sir, a few years back I called on the Home Ministers, Shri Dixit, in Delhi. Sir, at that time the whole country was a spectacle for instability. In some States there were Governments for one months, 6 days or 1 days or may be one year or so. But, Sir, we had a unique distinction as a stable Government for last six and half years. Meghalaya stood as an Island of Peace and stability in the Indian ocean of instability and insecurity that was witnessed by the people of so many States. We always maintained that we, the people of this small State, will be able to contribute some district contribution towards the people of the Country towards the Nation and we did contribute. It is a distinct contribution of peace, harmony and stability. But, Sir, what crime have we committed that his calamity should be fallen on the State of ours? This crossing of floor, this defection, this instability-why? What crime have we committed? Sir, in a letter written from a very very important person from Delhi I asked what sin we have committed that this calamity should be fallen on this beautiful State. Even a person who is occupying the highest office in the country that is the President of India, appreciated so much only a few months back in this very field of Shillong and again 2 months after, the Prime Minister paid high tribute for the progress and achievement of the State under the A.P.H.L.C. Then again a few months, back when Shillong centenary celebration was held, the Prime Minister pointedly and distinctly drew the attention of this tranquil harmony, it is her expression that tranquil harmony is prevailing in this State. But that harmony has been jerked by this back door method, by this corruption, by this intimidation and corruption.
Mr. Speaker :- Corruption, you mean by whom Government or the Party.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Corruption of the Congress Party?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- He cannot say that unless he can prove.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- It will be proved.
Mr. Speaker :- You should use some other word.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was telling you that two years back when I called on the Home Minister, Mr. Dixit, who was very much concerned other the spectacle of insecurity and instability in the country, as a humble citizen, I made a suggestion that why not an anti-defection Bill be passed by the Parliament. Sir, the Home Minister quietly said- I appreciate but there are difficulties. I did not know what were those difficulties. But it appeared although there were Congress Ministries in many States they could not come through fair and free method. That is why there were difficulties in passing the anti-defection Bill These were the difficulties, of course, the Home Minister did not spell out but now I could learn.
That is why the Anti-defection Bill is buried somewhere in the dark. Defection is being glorified defection is being respected. Sir, when shall we be free from all this? Therefore, Sir, I would conclude the statement that, we on this side, and 95 percent of the people of the State say to this Government you have no more right to function, to govern without the consent of the governed. Sir, if they are so much in a hurry they every night to go to the people just now-resign and go tomorrow and seek the verdict of the people. Therefore, Sir, I would call with all my conviction, with all my sincerity, upon my colleagues opposite to uphold self-respect and honour and dignity in our State. They should uphold for the sake of the present and more for the sake of the future of the people in our State. Therefore, I would call upon them for the sake of all of them to resign and seek the verdict of the people.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Rowell Lyngdoh, you have 15 minutes.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this motion as moved by the hon. Member from Nongthymmai. I would also support the reasons which have been advanced in this House. Sir, for the present I have no confidence in this Ministry because of the simple and valid reason that this Ministry because of the simple and valid reason what this Ministry was formed without the mandate, sanction and consent of the electorate in the State. We remember, Sir, that in 1972 General Elections the mandate of the people was remember, Sir, that in 1972 General Elections the mandate of the people was clear as stated by the hon. Member from Nongthymmai, when the people have elected 32 Members from the APHLC, 9 from our Party, the HSPDP, and 9 from the Congress side, and then of course, they have elected single individuals as independent. Therefore, from this side also that time we abided by the mandate of the people and we accepted that the Government and Ministry should be formed by that group which has the majority, Sir. It is only this moral duty. I am not against any Party but when they come to power without the moral sanction of the people. I feel and, it is my conviction that it is immorality. What is expected in a Parliamentary democracy..........
Mr. Speaker :- You mean political immorality?
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- What is the expected in a parliamentary democracy as obtained in our country, Sir, is that organised group party or even individual come to this House through the will and the sanction of the people, namely the electorates of the State, Sir. When the majority of such group assume power, they give shape to their programme and policy through legislation. If I may quote Sir, a sentence only from the book of Sibnath Chakraverty "Introduction to Politics" on page 89 "Parliamentary Majority cannot rule a country by divine right or by force, they must have sanction of public opinion" I therefore, mean that Government, at present, has no sanction of the people they have not got the mandate of the people and, as rightly pointed out they have not got the mandate of the people and as rightly pointed out by the Mover, they could very well resign and face the electorate and if they come to power it is quite justified and it is politically a moral standard by that action.
Therefore, I feel that this present Government in the context that they have come, as rightly pointed out by the hon. Mover, have come through the back and not through the will of the people. But in a democracy, Sir, what is expected is that we should respect the mandate of the people and we still maintain it here because we are the citizens of India which propagates, which believes in democracy and of which we are very proud that India at last in Asia is the biggest democracy. Therefore, we expect that this State of ours should give an example that we follow and express this democratic right in a proper way. I am afraid Sir, that we among all the members, feel that this is not the right way of forming the ministry which has been constituted by the members who have disregarded all the political norms and moral duties and standards. Above all they have disregarded the people's verdict, and come only through unscrupulous means. Sometimes, it appears that there is much hankering for power that they go against the will and the wishes of the electorate. I have, therefore, Sir, a moral duty to show and point out in this House that this is not a good sign to form a Government in this State of ours. Therefore, Sir, I have no confidence in such a Ministry which has come through the back door, as pointed out by the mover. Therefore, I support strongly this motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Jackman Marak.
Shri Jackman Marak :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this respect, I want to support this motion. I am happy that in the past years, everything was good. Now this side is very happy, I believe, But, Sir, we remember by those members who recently joined the Congress Party? Have there consulted the people, have they gone to the villages from house to house? They have broken the good mandate of the people and they have come through the back door to form this Government. It is not good for the people. Sir, here I want to pose a question to them. In which month and in which day before forming this new Ministry, they consulted the people and after some months did they go to the villages. Can they produce a certificate to the people for forming this new Ministry which has come through the back door and can they bring witness. Sir, I have consulted and I have done good works for the people. Moreover, I want to speak about the 9th December in which we have met at Tura. It is a fact that the then General Secretary of the G.N.C. and the then President of the G.N.C. and A.P.H.L.C. declared that they were still members of the G.N.C. Is there any rule for that? According to the Constitution of the Indian National Congress-Article 5-he is not a member of this Party provided that he is not a member of any other political party. Recently they have joined the Congress Party. So they cannot be members of the G.N.C. and A.P.H.L.C. at the same time. How can they challenge this Sir? So, Sir, the members who have joined the Congress Party recently from the A.P.H.L.C. Party, are not to be declared as members of this Party. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, how many times can a man be a member of the party, if today his new Ministry is formed in the name of Congress Party, Sir, and because there is pressure, tomorrow they will join the Communist Party, then next time they will join the Socialist Party. It is good for the people? It is a very shameful thing breaking the mandate of the people without consulting them. So Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here we are the 13 members of the A.P.H.L.C. Party, we were still sitting on the left side and that does not matter. We are very happy for the future. I remember and you also know the story, a very short story about a python. The Python swallowed a big deer and became it was so heavy so he could not move due to heavy stomach and then after a few days, the whole body became rotten and only the head remained. After one or two months, the head and body was reformed as it was. Then again it moved very swiftly. Sir, without taking the opinion and without consulting the people, no one should go against the will of the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was thinking on hearing the rumour before November this year of the pressure, pressure and pressure. I do not know whether it is a high pressure or low pressure (laughter). But the political high pressure comes to us at the last moment. There is none to press anybody. There is freedom of speech and freedom of doing and serving the people. So, Sir, I cannot accept this declaration which has been declared on 9th December, 1976 at Tura. As I have read the Constitution of the Indian National Congress, they cannot be members of both the G.N.C. and A.P.H.L.C. any more. You remember this, Sir, if you give rice to the hens when there is a cock, the cock will go that side and this side. So Sir, a man cannot be a member of two parties. They were Members of the A.P.H.L.C. Party up till 15th November of this year. So they have to produce a good certificate of good Services to the people. Then they will have to contact every-one in the villages. They may be very good but they have to go to such places and tell the people that we are going to form a new Government. If they do not agree then it is not possible to form a new Government. Am I not correct? So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this formation of a new Ministry is not a good sign for the people and coming back to form this new Ministry will not be acceptable to the people of this State of Meghalaya. With these few words, I strongly support this motion.
Shri Stanley D.D. Nichols Roy :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is with a full sense of responsibility and conviction that I stand to support this motion of no-confidence, against she present Ministry. It is not on the basis of record of this Ministry's works because they have not had much time to do the work, which was formed only in the last month or so, but it is on the basis of the will of the people that we stand today. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I recall my first acquaintance of this House in those days with the Assembly of Assam in which, as a new Member elected on the APHLC ticket in 1962. I came for the first time to meet the Secretary of the Assam Assembly. He gave me very interesting words of advice on how I should conduct myself in the Assembly and what were the traditions of this House and the purposes on which people elected to the Assembly were to conduct themselves. I remember he used a phrase which I always remember. He said, 'please do not forget that the Assembly is a place which may be termed as a temple of democracy. By this, he mean that the place is very precious to democracy that truth and truth alone should come out in this temple and only that words expressing the moral issue, the moral issue for democracy are to be uplifted. It is, therefore, with that spirit that I stand here today, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because as already stated by Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh who moved this motion, the fact that this Ministry came without the will of the people being elected on a specific ticket in 1972, in my opinion, and in the opinion of others according to my knowledge and information, is against the will of the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my colleague, Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh has referred to a term which may not be palatable but it is a fact on defection. To Call it by any other terms also, it makes no difference. The fact remains that a group of M.L.As, 26 in number crossed the floor, even though they sit in the same side as before, politically they have crossed the floor to from a new Ministry. They left the Party through which the people had elected them in 1972. They tried to justify, Mr. Deputy Speaker, by putting out a story which is not true, a story that together they had taken a group decision, is if one member crossing the floor without the will of the people is defection, but 20 members crossing the floor of is not defection. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question was asked by the electorate did the delegates who met at Mendipathar whether they were 80, or 100 or 150 or whatever number they may be, did they elect these 26 Members did they elect those 18 M.L.A.s who crossed the floor, course, the answer is, they did not. It was open to those Members to join any other party. I do not say that I object to their joining any other party, but what I do say is that before joining another party, they should have very well consulted their electorate did they do so as we had suggested? No. It may be questioned that it would be impractical to hold another election on this issue. It may or it may not be practical, but certainly that is the correct moral attitude. Apart from holding another election there is another process by which they could have consulted the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in its wisdom, the APHLC had built up a practice, almost a convention that on certain important issues, they do not take a decision by themselves or by the elected representative but took issues to the people over and above this issues placed before the public in an election. There were three times where the APHLC took certain important issues; in 1961 the issue of boycotting the elections. It was decided by all the parties together that they would boycott the election to show that they did not want to sit in the Assam Assembly. Following that decision in the party level, the APHLC, it was, therefore, decided to boycott all the elections. Because of that the decision was to be revised and the issue put before the people. They did not decide but decided rather to take this issue to the people and take a decision only after consulting the people. That was done. The second time, Mr. Deputy Speaker, sir, was in 1973-74 - I am sorry - it was in 1963 that a new offer was made by the the then Prime Minister. That was the Nehru Plan of autonomy for the Hills Areas. This issue was debated by the APHLC and it was decided to take this up with the people and consult them in many meetings and only after that that a decision was taken to accept it for trial. Finally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Autonomous State was offered and it was decided that it was worth the consideration. But no decision was to be taken until the people had been taken into confidence. Only then did the APHLC decide. It was expected that even now, this time when such an important issue of joining another party- an all-India party - has come up, this matter would have been taken to the people for consultation.
Shri S.N. Koch :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a point of order.
Mr. Speaker :- Is it a point of order ?
Shri S.N. Koch :- Sir, whether a no-confidence motion can be moved ? I have been listening to the speech about the political decision which does not come within the purview of a no-confidence motion and I think we should not discuss it further because, according to Rule 133 of the Rules of Procedure, "A motion expressing want of confidence in the wholw Ministry or a Motion censuring a Minister or a group of Ministers or a motion disapproving the action or actions of a Minister may be made with the consent of the Speaker". Whether the decision was made at Tura or Shillong these are political issues and so do not come within the purview of the no confidence motion. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, no further discussion should be allowed.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Member has been allowed that his discussion to be channelised in this was, I would also request you to allow us to say something in reply.
(A voice : No objection)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I refer to this book on no-confidence motion? "Normally, the matters referred to by the mover of the motion are discussed but it is open to any member to raise any other matter he likes during the course of the discussion on the motion".
Shri S.D.D. Nicholos Roy :- As I said, it is open. It is open. But I say this according to the convention established by the APHLC to consult the public and that these 26 members or at least had the 18 APHLC members, elected on APHLC tickets, gone to the public to their constituencies within a short period of 2 months; perhaps the history would have been different. We would not be sitting here with the no-confidence motion. We would not be sitting here with the no-confidence motion. Whatever the decision, they did not do so. A question may be asked, s I was asked by a newspaper-man: Did your party encourage defection? The answer is 'No'. Anyone who wanted to join our party would not be accepted directly; it took time. He would be asked to remain in the independent benches and to consult his own constituency and that only after careful consideration of all these issues we would accept him inside the party. We tried to lay down certain healthy practices because we felt that it would not be easy each and every time for elections to be held. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir it is very clear that, for the first time, the APHLC did not go through the normal procedure of consulting the constituencies but decided rather to go straight and join another party. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is admitted from the other side to justify this by saying that by this decision made by the 18 or 125 or whatever was the number of delegates, it is decided to wind up the party or to dissolve it after deciding to join another party. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we state here very categorically that they have no right, no political authority or moral authority to do so. No group of delegates could have such a right to give their consent when the people were not consulted. The people were not even informed beforehand by an agenda which could be merely stated as a review of the political decision and so on. Therefore, a question is asked : It is right? Is that action, whether political or moral, right? And the will and the voice of the people, whom we represent, say, 'It is not'. Of course, it is amusing, really amusing that the dissolution was declared by the erst-while President, according to our information, after joining another party and getting the leadership.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to state why as a Minister I resigned. I found that the mandate of the people has been broken by the leader - the leader who had been with us for 16 years. It was very painful to do so but I felt that I needed to examine my conscience and to do what I thought was morally and politically correct. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this connection I would like to refer to a saying by a great emencipator who said : "I am not bound to win, but I am bound to live up to the moral right and truth. I am bound to stand with him he is right and part with him when he is wrong". These words were said by the great emancipator who fought for the freedom of his country who fought to emancipate the slaves, Abraham Lincoln.
It may be argued Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that what is morally wrong may not be politically wrong. I would refer to another great democrat of the country from which we have followed many democratic traditions when he stated in his fight for moral values and politics of the country. "What is morally right cannot be politically wrong. What is morally wrong cannot be politically right" I endorse his view and it is for this reason, that I decided along with my other three colleagues to leave the Ministry.
Finally Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to recall the words of another great leader coming closer home who has led this part of the country for many years, who was responsible for convincing the Constituent Assembly with many in Delhi for the need of political autonomy of the region of ours. The late Rev. J.J. M. Nichols Roy whose work in bringing about a chain of ideas and need for political autonomy through the District Councils that have been recognised by many. He used to quote in this very House and in the House of which he was a Member, that is the Constituent Assembly, a great saying, which I think all of us and not only those on the other side but all of us who are here in this House, in this temple of democracy, would bear thinking about. He quoted from a great, moral and religious book and these words are "Righteousness exalted the Nation, but sin is a curse to the people". Therefore, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is brought in purely on moral issues. the present Ministry has not yet had the mandate of the people and it is for this reason that we have brought in this Motion before us to day and we do not forget that we are judged by the people who are the electors and that judgment will be given in the next election.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to indict this Ministry for having captured power not only without the mandate of the people but for most of the erstwhile A.P.H.L.C. legislators have broken the pledge and commitment they gave the people in 1972, through the election manifesto which has brought the A.P.H.L.C. to power. The A.P.H.L.C. Election Manifesto in 1972 pledged for statehood which they have not been able to achieve at that time. But the A.P.H.L.C. has to provide a strong and stable Government in order to make it a new born State and the instrument in the hands of the people to active the ends for which a movement for such a Hill State was launched. This was the commitment, the pledge, given by the A.P.H.L.C. Party to the people. This sanctity of the pledge, this sacredness of the pledge has been rightly stamped by the present leader and his followers. Therefore, now I indict this Ministry headed by Mr. Williamson A. Sangma for having broken this pledge they gave to the people.
Now, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Member, my colleague Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, has rightly said, that this Ministry has no moral right and no moral justification to exist because it has come through the back door. They have no courage to face the people in the field. No, they have not been able to do that, but through pressures, through intimidation and through other means and are now in the present Ministry opposite us their strength has not been decided by ballot or by the will of the people. If they are today claiming to be the followers of the Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi at whose desire they have joined Congress, let me enlighten Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this House and let me remind them of what I read only yesterday when I happened to get this copy, a very colourful Souvenir of the North East Session of the All India Congress which was held at Jawanagar Gauhati. Now the very weight of this book give much pressure to my hand here. Of course most of them are advertisements but there are reading matters also. Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, here there is a statement made by Shrimati Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. This statement is not only relevant to the Congress Party, it is also relevant to all the parties and to all lovers of democracy and freedom. Now I will quote - 'In a democracy, the relationship between Party and Government is settled and complete. The Party sets the goal for the people and offers them concretes programme. The peoples, mandate enables the Party to form the Government and to translate its vision into reality, the Party works do not end in the formation of Government. It must come up with momentum lead and give democratic debate and above all serve as a bridge of understanding between the Government and the people." Now Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we as the A.P.H.L.C. have the greatest regard and love and respect for the Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi. We have implemented this statement in letter and spirit in order to usher in for the people of the State, progress, prosperity and above all dignity, human dignity.
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
We have served as a bridge of understanding between the Government and the people. I would not like to indulge my time and your time in debating what Mr. Lyngdoh has said about what the APHLC Ministry has done in all these 7 years of administration.
Mr. Speaker :- Which Mr. Lyngdoh ?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, Sir. It has been able to bring about a steady progress and an all round development of the State and this has been appreciated. We have served as a bridge of understanding between the people and the Government. Lo and behold the storm, the storm, I do not know where it comes from, it has come in this beautiful State of ours. I ask a question to conform, to regiment intolerance, what it is, I do not know, I leave to the Members to judge. But then let me come to the basic, the central core of the statement. I quote again, "The people's mandate enables the party to form the Government and to translate its vision into reality". Has this Congress Party here today the mandate of the people enabling them to form the Government as enshrined in the words of the Prime Minister? Let me ask each one of you if you are really the followers of the Prime Minister. Have you been able to form this Ministry? Answer me if you dare, I challenge you.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker Sir,.................. (Interruption)
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- You are in the process of thinking, my dear friend. Think, think while you have the time (Laughter). The laughter of the lost in the wilderness (Laughter). And here are smiles.
(A Voice - You smile like a Congress man.)
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I am not a Congress man who will violate the mandate of the people. If I am a Congress man I would be the one who will keep in letter and spirit the thinking of the great Mahatma Gandhi and also Jawaharlal Nehru. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, "The mandate of the people" - These beautiful words are enshrined in a parliamentary norm and in democracy. Before 1972, for a decade since 1962, the Congress in this party of the hills in Meghalaya was a non-personality. They have been always fighting, crippling, impeding the movements of the Hills State. That was earlier than 1962. For a decade, the Congress in these hills was a non-personality. In fact, a minus-personality. Now, of course, you are there in strength because of borrowing from this side. It is a sad death.
Shri Peter G. Marbaniang (Minister of State, Education) :- He speaks like a preacher.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I am, because you who don't understand things, my friend. Now, in 1972, as correctly pointed out by my colleague, the Congress had 9 members, we were 32.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean to say that all of you will have the right to speak. But I think, if each and every Member has a right to speak he has also the right to heard.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- I just want to take him back to the year 1957.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Non-personality for a decade. I remind you, my friends, of 1973 when a no-confidence motion was brought by the Congress Party against the APHLC Ministry and at that time I gave the impression that the Congress in Meghalaya was a split personality and a brudle of contradictors and today the Congress Party is a borrowed personality. You don't have your own personality but a borrowed personality. Therefore, Sir, I said that this Ministry has no right to govern because it is not backed up by the will of the people. If you really have the courage, as your laughter seems to tell me I would say, Mr. Speaker, Sir, face the elections, resign! Just the other day, I saw in the paper, 'Assam Tribune' that Shri Hokishe Sema, the Congress Pradesh Chief, has indicated that he might go for election. I am asking Mr. W.A. Sangma to go to the people and then, and then only if the people choose you then you have the right to govern.
Mr. Speaker :- But the situation is quite different. There is no Assembly in Nagaland today.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Of course, Sir. Now, Sir, this parliamentary system, parliamentary democracy, is a gospel of faith and if democracy is to function effectively it has to have some ingredients, some virtues, and those virtues are tolerance and respect for human dignity and individual self-respect; but in this summersault of power what we witness were the means adopted.
That means were such that they were subject of no respect, those who waddle on such subject of joining the Congress Party. I remember an erstwhile colleague of mine had mentioned when we discussed this question of merger. He said "Let us discuss this question on merit and not on the basis of fears." Throughout the dialogue of some days on this question, the main weapon used for the APHLC legislators to joint the Congress Party was fear; the fear psychosis that was created. They were made to be conscious that if they do not join the Congress Party today, there will be President's rule.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is your opinion only.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- It is not my opinion, it is for those who stated it. There was also mention that arrest would be made, enquiries would be launched-now, it is Emergency, you must go with the tides, the current in the whole of India. Is this democracy? Today the Constitution has been amended and ratified and it is stated in clear terms that it is federal structure of Government, that it is designed to be a socialists democracy. You know of all these talks-the question of the value of democracy was designed to be put in the background. Now, looking at this picture; I am a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi, I remember when there was a Non-Violent Direct Action, we were trained by the philosophy of Gandhi in getting our volunteers to be trained in such a manner that they will stand for righteousness and that we are to be concerned not only with the goal but more with the means. The means are more valuable. Let me enlighten myself and this august House of these words of this great man, Mahatma Gandhi. He said "What I should be concerned about such means, and when I am sure of the purity of the means, faith is only to lead me on. All fears are melted away before that faith" These are the words in which each one of you must ask your self, if you have adopted our means fair means ........... (Bell rang)
Mr. Speaker :- You have only one minute. You can take five minutes from your colleague.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are means adopted Even as late as the other day, a member of this side was subjected to allurement that if you join our Party, we will make you this, we will make you that.
Mr. Speaker :- That practice is everywhere.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I am saying that in the context of the means that the great Father of the Nation speaks. Now, if I may use the word Mr. Speaker, Sir, and please correct me if I am wrong. In the issue, even weapon of money power was deployed. One of the hon. Member of this House was approached with the Congress enrolment from and he was asked "how much"!............
Mr. Speaker :- You mean to say by a Congress men?
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- By the agent of the Congress Party. Answer me when your time comes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we talk of the means do not be impatient or intolerant.............. (Voices - We want instances).
I will give it in the confidence of the Chief Minister. I just have a soft corner for my erstwhile colleague, Shri William A. Sangma. He was an affectionate person, though he may be politically in the opposite, I will give all these means to Mr. Williamson Sangma. Now, Mr. Speaker, Sir, another weapon used was that filthy word against the words used by Mrs. Indira Gandhi. "Bossism". She used to speak against 'Bossism'. Today in the field, bossism as a master was used to the fullest extend. The leader of one District, the erstwhile APHLC's District branch said......... "You do not know I am the leader. Do you challenge my leadership"........ "Bossism is there. If you challenge, I will do this, I do that. "Come to the Congress Party, otherwise, I will see what will happen". This is the fear-the fear side. But I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, one think that we, on this side of the House, know fearlessness, we know no fear, we stand by our own conviction, we stand by the means. That is why we decided to have a faith in purity of the means. We do not care for the chairmanship of (Bell rung)
Mr. Speaker :- Now, only one minute.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- One minute, I man not be able to complete.
Shri S.P. Swer :- I can give him my time.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It was not the practice in the past that somebody can offer his time.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- I will go according to the best tradition of this House, and that is, I will not proceed but I will say the everyone of us must know of the great responsibility to set up an honourable tolerance. Let there be a hall-mark, which I believe that will contribute to the hill-man's genius, to the whole of India. Let us hope for a certain mission, perhaps from these hills, whether in the person of Shri Williamson A. Sangma or anyone of us, we will be able to contribute to the whole of India, a spirit of sacrifice, to love self respect and human dignity which the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi again said of the 27th of December, 1966 - to give you the hills people the requisite status and dignity. I am a lover of democracy and dignity and here I end myself.
Mr. Speaker :- For the information of the House, I have to inform the hon. Members of this side that since that time at my disposal is very very short and the Chief Minister also does not like to extend the sitting of the House, I would allot only five minutes to each hon. Member to speak or they will have to adjust between themselves. So Mr. B.B. Shallam will now speak.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not expect that I will be having this chance so soon now. Sir, now, first of all I would like to say that in spite of the point of order raised by some hon. Members that this subject should not be allowed to be discussed, yet..........
Mr. Speaker :- Is that the point of order?
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Area Development) :- I would like to express many things because you have allowed to discuss. I am happy because we have had the chance to discuss about this question which he said, is a matter of life and death. Sir, the hon. member who has moved the No confidence Motion has said in the course of his speech, that this Government come through the back door and it was against the wishes of the people. In fact, that is not a fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, This was what they have to say with what they have met with the Prime Minister and other Central Leaders. Sir, we exist here today happily because we have to preserve the identity of our tribal people and not only to preserve our identity but also to see that we develop our State in the real sense of the term. So, Sir, we have full faith and confidence in the unique leadership of the Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi which I believe our colleagues from the opposition side have. Is it very fair to say that faith and confidence have not been found in their leadership. I do not know whether they have lost the confidence in the leadership of the Prime Minister, Sir, I am glad that our Chief Minister who is the Leader of the House has also told this House that we will be able to preserve our identity through their blessings and we know very well, Sir, that we will be able to preserve our identity. We will be able to develop our State in the real sense of the term. It is not because we are afraid that we are the leaders, we are to believe the people and have to consult them and even if we consult the people we can get our sincere appreciation as to how best we can serve our tribal people, we can get the co-operation as was expressed by Mr. D.D. Pugh that he would like to express full confidence and faith in the unique leadership of our Prime Minister. But at the same time, I oppose all those who have come to offer this kind of co-operation as this kind of co-operation is meaningless unless it is accepted. So, Sir we are thinking that we are going together with our beloved Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi. I have no doubt that we will be able to live with the people. I am happy and I know that by going to the Congress Party we can preserve our identity. I am thankful to the hon. Member who spoke before me who mentioned about the Father of the Nation in which he said that he is a great follower of Gandhi. It is true, but whether he is a follower in letter and in spirit. I remember that in so far as the true basis of our State is concerned, we have launched it with patience and not a single drop of blood was shed. (Bell rang). Because so far we have been able to implement this idea of launching a non-violent direct action which is Satyagraha. But we must also remember that there is another feature of this great convention when the Father of the Nation asked the Congress Party to dissolved. We must put an end to the function of the A.P.H.L.C. and come together to the Congress Party. I have no doubt, Sir, that the people do not understand the situation. So, Sir, I believe and I have no doubt that they will see to this when time come.
Shri S.N. Coch :- I am grateful for giving me this opportunity to speak on the motion of No Confidence against the Ministry headed by Shri Sangma. In fact, I have pointed out that the subject which is under discussion of this House is not in conformity with the rules prescribed in our Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of this House. Anyway, since the Deputy Speaker has admitted the motion................
Mr. Speaker :- It is not the Deputy Speaker who has admitted the motion. Infact, it is this august House which has admitted the motion.
Shri S.N. Coch :- Anyway, Sir, the mover of the motion in his speech has stated that just after the Election in 1972, the A.P.H.L.C. have got around 30 seats. Unfortunately, of course, he has not given the exact number of the A.P.H.L.C. just before the formation of the Congress Ministry. I believe the hon. Member, Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh, will not deny that the number was above 30. The hon. Mover of the motion also spoke that the Leader of the House adopted a back-door method, etc. etc., for increasing the number in 1976. But this is silent about the position of how the APHLC raised its position.
And in this respect I remember the speech of our great Saint Swami Vevekananda in Chicago when he said people think Hindus worship idols and this and that. But Hindus are not so as the people think. Hindus do not believe that there is a God residing in the Heaven with the skull in His one hand and sword in other hand to punish people. Nobody knows what is the shape of God. If you think God looks like a dog the He is like a dog; if you think He is like a cow then He is like a cow. It depends upon how one thinks about something. Therefore, when my friends talk about back-door it seems they themselves think about other what they themselves practise (laughter)
I submit Sir, the charges brought by the hon. Mover of the Motion that the Congress party is afraid of election are totally wrong. I am very sorry to remind him that it is the Congress Party in power since independence................
Mr. Speaker :- He said about Meghalaya.
Shri S.N. Coch :- No, Sir, he said that the Congress Party is afraid of election. It is his sentence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of the hon. Members again and again has been stressing about fear psychology and full of praise for the Leader of the Opposition. In plain language it is nothing but "tel malish". Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Congress Party has got no fear psychosis. Let there be hundreds and thousands of bullets showered yet there will be no fear psychosis. It is for them to "malish" with "Ghri takumari" or mustard oil.
Mr. Speaker :- Mr. Pohshna, you will get 10 minutes.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I actually did not have a mind to speak but the blame that has been laid on the Congress Party by the hon. Mover of the Motion and the supporters of the Motion made me speak. They have made mention much about back-door without mentioning as to what is the front door. They have also mentioned about the advantages of back-door but did not mention about disadvantages of coming through the front door; but did not mention about disadvantages of coming through the front door; that front door which was open at Mendipathar. Then another thing, Sir, which was stressed so much, i.e. the mandate of the people. I congratulate them. But I would only ask the hon. Mover of the Motion who was then the Hon'ble Minister for Parliamentary Affairs on this side. When the APHLC had 32 members how they could acceptant other 8 members without consulting or seeking the mandate of the people. Whether they were taken through front door or back door? (Loud laughter)
My time is short. Any-way, one of the supporters of the Motion rightly or beautifully stated that we are in a temple of democracy. He knows how to speak. But how in that temple of democracy they can say that the Congress Party has pulled down the APHLC through intimidation and *** and so on...................
Mr. Speaker :- I have expunged the word "Corruption" from the proceedings.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- Then Sir, because of time I would conclude but I would like to say that we really enjoy how the hon. Member, Mr. Kyndiah, carried the souvenir of the AICC through the back door for the peace and prosperity of the people of the State. Then there is another remark that the Congress Party is a non-political party. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember in 1947 and 1952 there was a Congress Ministry representing the Hill people in this very Assembly. I would request the hon. Mover of the motion to be very very reasonable and very very kind to recall when the Chief Minister some time ago expressed that he would like to have a very cordial relationship with the Leader of the opposition. But now inspite of the relationship, a Motion of no-confidence has been tabled and over-night the APHLC closed the relationship with the Prime Minister and her party through the back door not by front door. (loud laughter)
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, you will get 10 minutes.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am extremely happy that the mover of the Motion of no-confidence and his supporters have insisted over and over upon the will of the people and upon the mandate of the people. I fully endorse their views so far this is concerned and I will respect their views. They talk about the morality. But morality is such that no one is a judge of the morality. Who can say that he observed morality in his private and public live. It is only the people and God supreme who will judge our morality. In politics, changing of political affiliation is nothing new. Even Mr. Winston Churchill had to change the party several times.
(A Voice - But he had no resign from the party)
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Majaw, I think historically you are not correct.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But Sir, he has to change parties. Now here in this particular case there was much talk about morality and the will of the people.
Mr. Speaker :- They were talking about the morality of a political party.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- But Sir, in conscious mind who can judge with corruption, bribery, intimidation. Today they have come forward with a no-confidence motion against which Ministry? Look at them, excepting one, rest of them all were the same persons of the previous Ministry. It is they who left the Ministry. No-confidence against whom? It is not against the name; it should be against the policy and programme enunciated by any Government. The hon. Mover of the Motion has spoken about the will of the people. May I ask, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when he was the Law Minister for last 5/6 years hundreds of laws were passed but did he ever consulted the people or did he ever care to translate those laws into tribal languages? The law are not only meant for those who have passed from Oxford. Did he every care to translate those laws into tribal languages for the local people?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sir, he speaks of the will of people. On the 25th July, 1973 while the 31st amendment of the Constitution was moved for de-reservation of seats in Meghalaya on the floor of this House who defended it, the Law Minister, Sir! He did not care to ask the people and consulted them. Did he go to the people while de-reserving the seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Constituencies. He should have asked for the will of the people at that crucial time. Did he ever asked the people at the crucial time, where the people at large in the rural areas are allowed to mortgage their property, and their farms to any bank? We have the hon. Member here from Sohryngkham who is a rural Prime Minister in the Syiemship of Khyrim...........
Mr. Speaker :- He is a Lyngskor.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- He knows Sir, before mortgaging their property i.e. their farms, people had to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Syiem and from the District Council of Khasi Hills. People were asked to submit their application forms for loan and then go to the banks. Were people consulted on this, Mr. Speaker, Sir? Was this bill translated into Khasi language and distributed to the people concerned? With the permission of the House, I moved a Private Member's Bill in this House for the benefit of the people. Who opposed it Mr. Speaker, Sir? The then Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, who now brings this motion of no-confidence against this Ministry.
Mr. Speaker :- Even when he was a Minister, he did not act in his personal capacity, but it was a collective responsibility.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- I hope ultimately the criterion to judge the functioning of the Government is with its policies and implementation of policies. But fortunately or unfortunately, they resigned. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I request that, as earlier in the past, we fought and joined hands to fight for a Hill State, why can we not join our hands together now and fight against-one battle has been won- the war that remains, the war against poverty, ignorance and disease together. I must congratulate my friends on that side of the House who have taken this bold and spectacular step to join the Congress Party.
Mr. Speaker :- Did every body who is in this House fight for Hill State together in the past?
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the past we joined hands in order to bring about peace and benefit for the people of the State whether in this House or outside the House. Why can we not come forward now to fight against poverty, ignorance and disease. As Shakespeare said "There is tide in the affairs of men; which taken at the flood leads to fortune............."
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a resurgence taking place in their country now, a resurgence of the development and progress of our people under the hands of Mother India. While we were fighting for a separate State for preservation of our tribal identity, we have that full sympathy of so many in the country, in the State. Today, we want that the many strings that make out a rope will also bind us together and we will take aid from other neighbouring States, to achieve this tribal identity. In fact, in order to preserve our tribal identity we need the assistance of people who have the same problems, as ours, and share with our problems. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I remind my friends that there is no sense in merely boosting up or in merely trying to prop up a Party for the sake of a Party. The main purpose of the Party is for the people. If we can better serve people by any other means, why should we reject those means? The ultimate criterion of a Party is in its ability to implement its programme and to serve the people, but not to which Party we belong in this House. Can they with their heroism, the Congress Party wipe away the tears of poverty, clothes the needy? Heroism and great reputation alone, Mr. Speaker, Sir, will not achieve anything. Therefore, Sir, I oppose this no-confidence motion. This Government is for the people, but the people and of the people.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the motion moved by the hon. Mover that this present Ministry has no right to continue for want of the mandate of the people from inside, not the mandate of the people from outside. I stress this point, Sir, for want of the mandate of the people from inside not people from outside.
Mr. Speaker :- You mean from inside the State?
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- From inside the State, I mean, Sir, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has been mentioned that in the last election, 32 M.L.As were elected from the APHLC. (Voices You are a defector) No, Sir. I was one of the independent candidates and Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to inform the House, through you, that I joined the A.P.H.L.C. not because of the mandate of the A.P.H.L.C. Government, but on the mandate of my own people through consultation. Who says that I have not consulted my people. I have.........
Mr. Speaker :- I do not know whether anybody here is a voter in the Sohryngkham Constituency of which the hon. Member claimed.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. For three years of having the relationship with the Congress Party, the State has been quite steady economically, socially and there has been no trouble. There has been no dislocation of peace. But all of a sudden, it was a thunder stroke, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Therefore, the joining of most of the members of the A.P.H.L.C., this Government has come now and they say it is in the main-stream. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I remind you of that small legend when there was a great flood, the tribal man or a man from the hills is, as you know, not good in swimming and in course of swimming, he lost his literature because he could not hold his breath any more and, therefore, has a swallow the literature. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are in the main-stream of the whole nation. What are we going to swallow now. What are the safeguards and protection that have been prepared for us so that we can also swim in this big ocean. What is the apparatus? Mr. Speaker, Sir, the word 'defection' is not palatable of most of our friends because in their heart of hearts, they are not happy to wear the new uniform over the old uniform. (At this stage, the Speaker left the Chamber and the Deputy Speaker occupied the Chair) Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not say defection but I say infiltration. When infiltration is there by virtue of the quantity of infiltration.
Shri H.E. Pohshna :- He has infiltrated into the APHLC.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Yes, I have infiltrated into the A.P.H.L.C. and our friends have defected from us for infiltrating into the party of the hon. Member from Nongtalang. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when this infiltration is completed about two weeks ago, the label has changed. A new label is pasted over the old label. Do you think that there will be team work in such a situation. Do you think that there will be no say from the hon. Members of the original camp. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, do you think that they can swallow when the infiltrators who have just come the other day will sit over their heads. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my time is very short. Therefore, why not we have the courage to go to the people. This is a question of life and death and of the whole State and its people and not the question of legislation as the hon. Member from Mawhati has said. I hope that this House need not go to the people for each and every piece of legislation.
Prof. M.N. Majaw :- Important ones.
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- Of course, if it in an important legislation, the House may seek the opinion of the people. But for a matter of ratification, can we do anything, Sir. Therefore, I feel that this House, I mean this Government which has come to power through the process of infiltration has no moral right to continue and serve our people. Sir, I am here not as a judge, but the people are the judge and jury of every one of us. Let us go and meet the people and get their mandate With these few words, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I vehemently support the motion moved by the hon. Member.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Mr. Bareh, You will get 10 minutes.
E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not take much time of the House, but I would only clarify certain things which the hon. members from the outer side have mentioned. They have talked about the mandate of the people. May I ask a question Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir? Do they have the mandate of the people to boycott that Conference. Have they consulted the people to boycott that Conference. Have they consulted the people to boycott that Conference. Have they really got mandate. One of the hon. Members who has just spoken has said that before he joined the A.P.H.L.C., he consulted the people. Can he say that we did not consult the people The hon. Mover has said that 95% are with them as if we are dead. We also have the people behind us and we go according to what they direct us. Therefore, I see no reason that this motion is worth taking up this time.
If they have come here to point out the lapses of the Administration if the Ministry, yes, this House is to look after the lapses of the administration. But for them to bring a political issue in this House, I think, they are counting the chickens before they are hatched. I will repeat on what someone had said-if you point a finger at others, remember that three fingers are pointing back at you. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our friends talked too much about the threats and fear as if they are the heroes who have no fear, then who stopped them from going to Mendipathar. Are they not afraid to face the public because they did not go to Mendipathar? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they may call us the defectors but they were the first defectors because they boycotted the Conference at Mendipathar. They have defected the A.P.H.L.C. before it was dissolved, and if they have not defected, then they would have gone and taken part in the Conference held at Mendipathar. If I am a defector, then they are the number one defectors.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Prof. A. Warjri, you will get 15 minutes.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister Agriculture) :- May we know that the time as announced just now is allotted by the speaker?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- Yes.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- How much time is allotted on the Treasury Bench?
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- 5 minutes. I am giving more time to the leader of the House as the time has been allotted by the Hon'ble Speaker.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to be guided in such an important discussion as a no-confidence motion. I think time should be allotted to both the Government side and the Opposition equally. But it is unfortunate that our friends from the other side are getting 15 minutes or more. I would like to know the basis on which the time is allotted.
Shri F.K. Mawlot :- We want to know the allocation of time for each Party.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- There are a number of Members from the Ruling Party who will be participating. So considering the time factor, I think 5 minutes time has been allotted to each Members of the Treasury Bench.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- May we know how many Members from this side and how many from that side?
Shri G. Mylliemngap :- We have already submitted our time requirement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker :- According to the list submitted, 6 other hon. Members from the Ruling Party will be participating and in the meanwhile we are to give more time to the Leader of the House to give a reply.
Prof. Alexander Warjri :- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel that I am still in a dream. I felt that it is a nigh mare that such a think should come about and I am the one who should be really sorry for it because I remember in 1972, when the Conference was called after the achievement of the Hills State, it was I who, at that time, represented the Swatantra Party suggested that the A.P.H.L.C. should cease, the APHLC should remain in the golden letters in the history of Meghalaya, and that the APHLC should not be tarnished, should not be dissolved so ignobly, I suggested that each one of us should go to our different parties. Yet, the unanimous decision in 1972, after the achievement of the Hills State was "no dissolution of the Party." and the Party headed by Mr. Williamson Sangma has assured that the A.P.H.L.C. will never be tarnished and will carry on the banner to the people and all along with bring a clean and efficient Government to the State. Soon after that, election took place and APHLC secured the majority of 32 seats. During the last 4 years and 7 months, great things have been achieved. The people who come from outside have seen, those who have eyes to see, let them see and those who have ears to hear, let them hear. The people who have been away from Shillong and Meghalaya for a very long time came and were thunder struck to see the change that has been brought about in Meghalaya during this short period. The people of the State had in Meghalaya during this short period. The people of the State had been very happy and under the able leadership of the then leader of the A.P.H.L.C. we have made tremendous progress. The people of Meghalaya were happy and content, they have been joining hand with the Government in bringing about progress and prosperity. Amidst the progress, happiness and prosperity and contentment comes a bolt from the blue. I keep on repeating to myself why; why; why? What are the reasons for this change. Is there any valid reason for changing side for changing the Government? Is there any reason why a party or a group which is far greater than a small group should joint the smaller group. I have never known in any Parliamentary practice anywhere in the world where a bigger group will come and join the smaller group. May I ask for the reason why? I want to know the reason from the Leader of the House. Was it is a threat? If it is, I am afraid, I will have to sit down. I am shaking because of the threat especially with he Emergency on. Again, was it for power and glory? It is difficult to answer. Was it blackmail? Is there anything in the conscience of a few whose photographs or whose reports are lying somewhere and so they are threatened in that Why? Otherwise, why this sudden change from this peace and prosperity, from this tranquility? I am in a confusion as to why sensible persons like the leaders of the A.P.H.L.C. commit such a folly and I feel that I am still in a dream. The democratic leaders as I use to know him, at least has changed his spots. That leader whenever we have to decided any important issue, would never allow the Conference to pass or decide anything without consultation with the people and we all respected him for that. I am at a loss to understand not even we who used to sit together which him on the same side as M.L.As I am not speaking for this side but also fro that side that not even Parliamentary Party members had been called to consult in this matter not to speak of consultation with the people. What wrong have we done? We have given him a strong support when we had to fight for certain measures. Why should we M.L.As, be treated like cattle and chattels to be taken to a Fair of the A.I.C.C. at Jawahar Nagar. Just now the hon'ble Minister has mentioned about the Mendipathar Conference. he said that we are the defector, because we did not go to the Conference at Mendipathar. Does not he know the practice of the A.P.H.L.C. that when we go to the conferences we go with an open mind? The people know that we do not go with a closed mind. (Bell Rang) Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know the reason why such changes, why this sad and sudden changes took place. I shall end my speech by asking why? Why? Why?
Mr. Speaker :- Before I call upon other hon. Members, let me make an announcement that at 12.30 p.m. I will close the discussion. Then the Chief Minister will reply and thereafter Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh will reply for 15 minutes or so. It all depends on the time. Now, Mr. Zaman.
Shri Akramozzaman :- What is the times, Sir?
Mr. Speaker :- Prof. Marbaniang will you also speak?
Prof. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State Education) :- Yes, Sir.
Mr. Speaker :- Then each of you will have 5 minutes.
Shri Akramozzaman :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the no confidence motion and also to give some replies to the charges made against the Congress Party which was also, the then APHLC party. Sir, the hon. member has stated that there was a gift of 9 seats to the Congress Party but he has concealed the circumstances in his seat elaboration. But in these 5 minutes it will not be sufficient for me to elaborate under that circumstances this arrangement had been made. I can only say that, as we understand it, even if we can use the word 'gift', it means that the gift cannot be taken back. But this House knows that one representative elected on a Congress ticket was taken when he was a parliamentary member of that party. By these things I understand that when the whole matter came up even he did not make protest to that member because we have given him as a gift - because a gift cannot be taken back. If you wish to leave the Congress party you can sit somewhere. Now the APHLC also said that their people elected 32 members and I believe at that period of time, as he gave the expression, the APHLC went to the people with the assurance that they would be the ruling party. But we, the Congress Party, have not gone to the people with this assurance whether we shall form a government or to be in the opposition. That was not our commitment. Ours was to serve the people. So, Sir, in a democracy another things is that these two component parts cannot be forgotten. Now, I put this question to the hon. members on the other side: Do they have the mandate from the people to form the Opposition Group in this House? On what strength they are going to bring a no-confidence motion? So, this party would have to go to the people and take their mandate before.......
Mr. Speaker :- That is irrelevant because the recognition of the party inside the House is not the mandate of the people.
Shri Akramozzaman :- The mandate of the ruling party or of the opposition is with the people and not inside the House if we take it in that way. So, Sir, as the time is very short (Bell Rang)
He was speaking about corruption etc. I should say that a man sees the world according to the colours of his eyes and here is a story. There are two gentleman playing cards. One is losing his bets. Then another gentleman asks him : What is the matter? Then his reply is ................ (Bell rang)
Prof. P.G. Marbaniang (Minister of State Education) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose the Motion. I have full faith in the Ministry led by Capt. W.A. Sangma. Many have spoken but I just want to make it very clear to the Mover of the Motion that right from the time that we moved into this House we have been sitting on this side of the House along with them. But now I find that they are sitting on the other side of the House. So how do they say that we stare defectors. I say that they are the deserters. Sir, I believe in "work more talk less". Now I do not know the sentiments of the people in the gallery, but I know that the people watching us as intelligent, clever people. They have said about the mandate of the people and that we have to go to the people, yet the people know that those only who can deliver the goods to them are the true leaders. Now I have joined the Congress Party out of conviction and not fear, intimidation and now I feel proud and I have done so, because I know that I will be able to help my people more and more. They also talked about morality and decency. I remember when Capt. Sangma, the Leader of the House resigned from the Ministry during the language issue, the first things that he did was to surrender the officials car. So may I ask my honourable friends or dishonourable friends I should say, if they have also done so? of course for a house, they may not be able to find in Shillong and they be given that facility. We believe to find a house in Shillong and they be given that facility. We believe in moral principles, so we must do it right away and we do not want for extension of one month's time. Is that political morality? And if they talked about the mandate of the people, I am sure that I have every confidence of the people and the people will respect us and will always be with us. You may appeal to the people and you may change the sentiments of the people, but our people are intelligent and I am sure that their verdict will be with us.
Shri D.D. Lapang :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with very serious and fund damental reasons I rise to oppose the Motion moved by the hon. Member from the other side of the House. I think most of the Members from the other side have said that the present Ministry is a back-door Ministry. Yesterday we have also had the occasion of hearing from the other side of a phrase "Dog in the Manger policy". While I was listening to that quotation and the argument advanced by the Members of the other side and my colleagues, I felt that it was fit and proper that the quotation was being carved out in their own seat instead of from this side. Now Mr. Speaker, Sir, they have also claimed that they have got 95 of the people behind them. I do not know what is the formula that they are calculating that percentage of getting the people behind them. But it reveals that they have not even got a chance of contracting the people and got their mandate to be behind them. I believe and I am sure that they never contacted the people so how can they invite the people to attend their Conference recently held at Mawkhar when they never have visited their constituencies for that. There is also a rumour in every nook and corner of the State that certain persons will be given ticket if at all they have the courage to attend the Conference at Mawkhar. The have only contacted certain responsible persons and leaders and should we say that is the mandate of the people Sir? I think we should take all the responsibility for having the mandate of the people because I full agree with Mr. P.R. Kyndiah with he said that we should uphold the dignity of the people with all sense of respect and love for them. I share that sentiment and with a sense of responsibility. I know how to uphold their dignity and maintain their prestige and I am equally responsible for them. So I must work for the interest of my people and I am fully responsible to them. But my friends on the other side have said that they have to contact the people and if a representative of the people from different constituence, they have not been able to voice their demands and redress their grievances, are they responsible for that? How can they say that when we joined the Congress party we never contacted the people But have they ever consulted the people? I not I am sure they have will have to face music by blaming the present Ministry. How they also said that by joining the Congress Party we have done a wrong thing and it is a calamity on our part. Mr. Speaker, Sir, how can they say so? We should see how the Government with the present Ministry can carry on its activities to the best interest of our people. Therefore, I would request my friends on the other side to be a bit patient and see how the Government can function and bring an all round development in the State. They should not only say beautiful words and deliver lectures from the platform, but they should be more responsible to deliver the goods to the people and to serve the country by upholding and maintaining the dignity and prestige of the people. They should not think that the poor and the down trodden are neglected and that only the prestige and status of some personality have been upheld. So I say, in opposing this Motion that it is really unreasonable and highly objectionable. It does not have any background at all and therefore, I vehemently opposed it.
Shri M. Reidson Momin :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first place I rise to oppose this Motion and I refute all charges leveled against this Ministry. When from the other side, they have talked about back-door system, I do not understand what they meant by it. Actually, Sir, they themselves are the people entering by the back-door and now they are sitting in the opposition benches. I remember when we went to Mendipathar to get the opinion and mandate of the people for joining the Congress Party, they never turned up. But today they are afraid to face the people. It is a fact Mr. Speaker, Sir, they did not attend the Mendipathar Conference and they did not bear that point in mind. Sir, they also talked about democracy. In a democracy, Sir, everyone has got the right to do what he likes unless it is in an infringement of the law. Therefore, I have every right to decide what party I will join. Sir, it has been said that we did not get the mandate of the people. Sir, I am a public leader, I am a responsible man, so why should I go to my people first when I want to do anything, If I want to do anything for my son, to buy good suit, god shoes for him, why should I consult my some who will go tomorrow to make Christmas purchases. So, Sir, I conclude my speech and with these words I oppose the Motion.
Mr. Speaker :- Will the Chief Minister give the reply?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I give the reply, I would like to read the Motion first - "That this House express want of confidence in the present Ministry headed be M. W.A. Sangma". There is no indication of the lack of confidence in my Ministry. Discussion relates to political matters, merger to the APHLC with the I.N.C.A. As has been pointed out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the rule also motion expressing want of confidence in the whole Ministry, or motion censuring a Minister or a group of Ministers or a motion disapproving the acts of omission or commission of a Minister may be brought with the permission of the Speaker. It is fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday you had admitted the motion without knowing what would be the trend of the discussion. It was unfortunate not to foresee the trend of the discussion which will come to this House. It is a fact that you had admitted. But I was wondering whether from the trend of the discussion which does not deal with regard to the lapse of the administration or failure of a particular nature, this House would be considered as a proper forum for such discussion. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, no charges have been made, only the merger question of the APHLC with the Indian National Congress has been raised. Though this is not the proper forum for it, I would seek your indulgence to allow me to speak.
Mr. Speaker :- Yes.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Now they have pointed out that the merger was the result of fear, bribery and so on and forth. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I deny that on the other hand I would say that it was the fear on the part of my erstwhile colleagues that made them decided not to use the proper forum for this discussion. The proper forum was Mendipathar. Out of fear they decided not to go there. That is why they have chosen this forum. All my erstwhile colleagues were present when the question of convening the conference for discussion this particular question was discussed in the Central Committee meeting on the 1st November. Unfortunately, the Party General Secretary is not here in that meeting expressing his inability to issue the notice as he was to go outside the State to Hyderabad. That was the forum and it was made very clear that since it was not possible to implement the political resolution of August 19 and 20 it was our duty to report back to the conference and seek its advice. A question was put whether the conference would come to a definite decision and the question of merger would be taken to the people. If has been rightly pointed out by the hon. Member from Mawkhar that it is for the conference to decide the question. What prevented them to attend the Mendipathar Conference was because they had known that only the authorised members of the Conference could attend it. It was this consideration alone that promoted them to boycott the Conference thereby had they become indisciplined Members of the erstwhile APHLC. As correctly pointed out by my colleague, a Member from Mawkhar, by his action they deserted the party. The convention, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that whenever a particular issue is to be discussed in a conference no District Branch is allowed to come to a decision but here the Khasi Hills District Branch discussed this question and passed a resolution to boycott the Conference I would, therefore, request the hon. Members through you, Sir, to study in depth the circumstances which prevented them to go and join the Conference and speak out their mind. It will be too much for me Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the Control Committee had decided on the date to revise it again. I am not a dictator who can flout the decision of the Central Committee. If the purpose was really to consult the people in the first instance, as I said, it was for the Conference to decide. They had failed to persuade me to postpone the date. They wanted something to impose on me. One of my erstwhile colleagues, even telephoned the Prime Minister and requested here to please advise Capt. Sangma to postpones the meeting from 16th to 19th. Was it possible to consult the people throughout whole State in three days? I would like the House to take note of this and from there draw your conclusion whether it was really a genuine attempt on the part of my colleagues on the other side to consult the people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is really a matter of great regret that the erstwhile senior colleague of mine could not go according to the established convention of the Party. I expect my erstwhile senior colleagues to set an example to the other in maintaining Party discipline. Now, it has been stated that they carry 95 per cent of the population in their stand. As questioned by my colleague from Nongpoh, I would like to know the basic formula on which this has been arrived at. As far as my district is concerned. I can speak without fear of contradiction that this question was already there ever since 1972. This question was discussed formula in the Conference in 1973 and also in 1976 August, 19th and 20th. It is a travesty of truth on the part of my colleagues on the opposite to charge us that we have done it through back door. As a matter of fact this question had been openly discussed both in Shillong and elsewhere by those very persons who charged that we have formed this Government through the back door. I could name them Mr. Speaker, Sir, a number of times they had though of joining the Congress individually.
(Voices : Shame, shame, shame)
In 1973, as many as 8 colleagues of mine of the erstwhile APHLC decided to join the Congress reducing my strength to a minority. When I was in New York to attend the U.N.O. General Assembly as a delegate, an attempt was made by some to form a new Government. More than ten Members of my then party were pressing hard for a new Government, but now, acting like innocents, they want to play before the gallery choosing this floor, and not the real political platform in Mendipathar. I would welcome them to choose a political platform outside this House to argue about this question.
(Voices : We welcome very much)
Then why did you avoid Mendipathar? It was the practice and convention of the erstwhile APHLC to discuss any question in a conference when we could give our opinion and take a decision or a consensus. Mr. Speaker, Sir, through you, I would like to inform the House that it was not fear, intimidation, nor bribery which made the conference at Mendipathar decide on the merger. The decision was the outcome of the conviction of the Conference. That time we were convinced that, if we want to be more effective in the service of the people we should join the Indian National Congress which had helped us during the struggle for a State of our own. Of course, the other Parties also had helped us to achieve our goal to get our State. My erstwhile colleagues were with me in Delhi when we tried to get the support of certain members in the Congress who did not initially subscribe to our idea. I ask them now, it is not a fact we were advised by the Prime Minister hersel to seek the support of other leaders for achieving our goal - the attainment of a Hill State? Now that we have our own State, is not our duty to see how best we can bring about an all round development to our people? I have said a number of times that the achievement to the Hill State is not an end, it is only a means towards the fulfillment of our aspirations to rise to the level of the advanced sections of the people of our great country. Therefore, it is not our duty to see how best we can serve the State and the people? Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is indeed very fortunate that my friends on the other side should have brought all these unfounded allegations, Am I not, as anxious as they are to preserve our distinct identity, culture, customs etc.? Is it possible, as I said in this House a few days back, to preserve that identity only with our own efforts? Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier, because of the other understanding and the interest shown by the Indian National Congress, a number of provisions have been provided in the Constitution of India to serve the interest of the tribal people all over the country. The hon. Member from Mawkhar had stared that in 1972 itself, he raised a question whether the APHLC should continue or not after the creation of our own State.
From the point of view the purpose for which the A.P.H.L.C. came into inexistence does not exit any more. Therefore, the real question is that having achieved the goal with the blessing of the Centre, we must think of another forum through which we can serve the people better, that we may preserve the culture, custom and identity more effectively. It is a fact that in a smaller State like ours it is essential to have some sort of a higher forum. It is true that through the North Eastern Council we can make our voice more effective when all the Chief Minister of the seven States meet together to discuss our common problems and ways and means to solve them. But, even them, we need another forum for securing our interest and that forum is the Indian National Congress. it was for the Conference at Mendipathar to decide whether to merge with the Congress or not. With all these backgrounds, I would, therefore, put this question - what made my colleagues, from that side of the House, who have once decided to join the Congress individually to boycott the Mendipathar Conference to decide the merger issue collectively? What advantage they will get by joining the Congress individually ? What is the meaning of joining individually? What is the motive behind it? It was said by my former colleague representing Nongthymmai Constituency that some people may have to purchase something, that it is a very wrong conviction to decide to join the Congress in a bulk. I cannot follow what he means, I know Mr. Speaker, Sir, by this action they wanted to stab me at my back. I am a man, I shall never allow others to stab me at the back. Let them confront me if it is for the good of the people. Their attempt to join the Congress individually when they were still in the Government was an attempt to stab me at the back. Was it not a fact that my colleagues had on occasion to raise this question and also to the mover of the motion as referred to in this letter of 8th October, 1976; a most damaging letter (Voices : shame, shame, dirty letter). he has said he was afraid (Voices : Shame, Shame).............
The whole Central Committee could not take that. The Central Committee without any reservation condemned that letter. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Mendipathar Conference decided on the merger issue with full conviction knowing the mind of the people through their elected representatives. It is a fact that the Central Secretary himself was a party to the Mendipathar Conference as he authorised one of the Joint Secretary to issue notices because he was not able to issue notices himself. With your permission, Sir, I will read out this letter. It read as follows :-
November 2, 1976.
Dear Miss Marak,
As I cannot issue notices for the purposed forthcoming Session of the Party, you may kindly do the same as one of the Joint Secretaries.
The necessary papers, etc., will be forwarded to you immediately on my return from Hyderabad.
Sd/- D.D. PUGH,
|Miss Percylina Marak, M.L.A.|
I questioned the validity of the so-called A.P.H.L.C. Conference on the 14th December. I will not go on to the details. My colleague, my Ex-General Secretary of the conference know what is the composition of the conferences, and who are the members who are entitle to exercise a vote or to attend the Conference. Here is a notice issued by him for this august conference. Study the composition of members and I would like a reply whether that conference was attended by these authorised persons and, if so, how many attended, because, according to the conviction, the members of the Central Committee having a right to vote are only the office bearers, the M.Ps the M.L.A's, the M.D.C.s belonging to the party, and two nominees of the District Councils in the case of Khasi Hills as the Chief Executive Members does not belong to the party. The District A.P.H.L.C. can send 4 or 5 nominees. I would like may friend on the other side to inform me with a clear conscience if there is a still branch of the A.P.H.L.C. in Garo Hills or in Jaintia Hills as it is alleged to be in the Khasi Hills District. If so, I would like to be how many more M.P.'s M.L.A's M.D.C's, etc. who are eligible to vote attended the so-called conference of the 14th December. We are termed as defectors. I call them defectors. I will charge my erstwhile colleagues that they have broken the convention. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am indeed very much pained to place these things before the House. I am a person who would not take revenge but I have seen the changed attitude of my friends on the other side even in addressing me. I was used to be affectionately called 'Capt. Sangma' but now 'William Sangma'. There is a change of attitude. That was how I was called by my erstwhile colleague. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not take much time. I will improve in the next general election that we have got the mandate of the people. Also I assure my colleagues that the people are with us. With these few words, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I resume my seat.
Mr. Speaker :- Shri B.B. Lyngdoh you will get 15 minutes.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this temple of democracy, as rightly pointed out by my colleague, the hon. Member from Chella we have discussed a very very serious matter in the words of the Hon'ble Minister of the State, Shri B.B. Shallam, it is a matter of life and death. Yes, Sir, it is a matter of life and death to democracy, to morality by any standard and public conduct. Sir, it is not for us to decide, to judge on what we have spoken throughout these three hours and with due respect I should say it is not for the Hon'ble Speaker also to judge and decide this matter. Sir, what we have discussed throughout these last few hours, we will not be able to judge but it will be decided by God and people alone. Sir, it is not necessary to discuss the matter in details. Only I would refer to some very important remarks made by certain members, by the Hon'ble Agriculture Minister, Shri E. Bareh and also repeated by the Leader of the House on the boycott from the Mendipathar Conference. The Hon'ble Minister, Shri Bareh, asked whether we had the mandate of the people to boycott the Mendipathar Conference. Sir, the Mendipathar Conference is a party meeting and I have no right to consult the Hon'ble Minister, Shri Maham Singh, who is not a member of the party. We are to consult with the party members only.
Shri Maham Singh :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, why his is bringing my name. I did not say that I was not consulted.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- We had thoroughly consulted with the party members for attending a party meeting. We had consulted with the District APHLC Executive Committee on the 4th, 10th and 11th November on the matter about attending the Session of the Mendipathar Conference. So challenging that we did not consult for attending the party meeting is very very irrelevant and uncalled for. We have thoroughly consulted the party before representing in Mendipathar. Then, Sir, on the points raised the hon. Member, Mr. Warjri, about the convention and practice of the APHLC in attending a Conference with open mindedness. That was also repeated by the Leader of the House. What happened in the strange case? The Leader of the House cannot deny that in the District Branch meeting it was on his own that he took a decision before the 8th without consultation.............
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That meeting took place in Khasi Hills also.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Therefore, on 8th November a meeting was held at Tura and the Leader of the House called all the M.L.As and M.D.Cs
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is not a fact that it was unauthorised.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- But I think on 8th November it was no longer open minded. That attitude of open-mindedness was no longer there. It was channelised. All the M.L.As. and M.D.Cs were called and they were marshaled expecting, of course, Mr. Jackman Marak. They were marshaled for merger.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- It is not correct. The District Executive Body was consulted on the same day.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- So, Sir, on 9th November this strange thing happened in Jaintia Hills also. We have received a message from the Leader of the House that Jowai District Branch has decided. So, Sir, there is no more the question of open-mindedness in this matter. Everything was marshaled and prepared and they were asked to go and merge. That is why Khasi Hills District A.P.H.L.C. was not prepared to go and become partners to the grave diggers of the A.P.H.L.C. Sir, the Leader of the House had referred to the telephone call of the Prime Minister about influencing the Chief Minister to postpone the Conference. The Leader of the House, the then President of the A.P.H.L.C. had stated that the date had been fixed according to the request of the Leader from Delhi. Sir, I have go the document.
(A voice-What document? It is a misleading document). I have not stated this for argument. Shri W.A. Sangma decided to merge with the Congress Party before the 19th November as was requested by a Congress Leader from New Delhi.
So Sir, this is the explanation for the telephone call because they had requested.
Mr. Speaker :- I have heard the request and counter-request made by both sides of the House and...............
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- I think Sir, this House has become a political platform.
(Voices - Yes, Yes)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- Sir, the Leader of the House jumped upon the opportunity offered by the hon. Members from Mawkhar abut the members of the A.P.H.L.C. in 1972, when he raised the question in the Conference whether the A.P.H.L.C. having achieved full Statehood in September 1971 should not be dissolved and different group will go back to their own Parties. But in September, 1971 what was the stand of the Leader of the House. It was totally 'No'.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Now, Sir, it is the ultimate conviction of every body here.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- 5 years that is in 1971, the A.P.H.L.C. decided to continue taking the analogy of the All India Congress Committee when they had decided to go on with the responsibility of giving Leader of the people in the country. Again the same question came in 1973 and again in August, 1976. Suddenly now in this House the Leader of the House had jumped upon the chance made by the hon. Member from Mawkhar. It is quite strange, a sudden change in the conviction of the Leader of the Housel Sir, I have quoted part of the letter of 8th August of the Central Committee of the A.P.H.L.C. and the Leader of the House also had quoted parts. I think, Sir, if some parts have been quoted, I may also be permitted.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- That was a condemned letter.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- I would now come to the last point raised by the hon. Leader of the House about the validity of the Mendipathar Conference. Yesterday, we had the occasion to discuss this and when I asked the Leader of the House on what basis, on what authority.
Mr. Speaker :- I think I will not allow discussion on this issue. One side has challenged the validity of the Mendipathar Conference, and the other side was challenging the validity of the Shillong Conference. I think, this issue will be decided somewhere else.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- You have allowed the leader of the House to speak, Sir, he has stated that it is a matter of convention. There is no provision anywhere in any of the proceedings of the A.P.H.L.C. authorising any person to dissolve the Party. Where is the convention I asked him, let him quote any two or three of the conventions or series of action taken in course of the last three years that we authorised any person to dissolve a political party. I was studying about the Congress Constitution and I do not see provision anywhere allowing or authorizing, any one person to dissolved the party. I do not find it. Each individual including Captain Sangma had signed an individual application form to join the Congress Party. Therefore, the question of merger, the question of dissolution in a camouflage. Therefore, Sir, as I have said it is not for us.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Law) :- You have not read the Constitution of property (interruption)
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- It is for people since it affects our people our State and the whole country, let us go to the people and get verdict.
Mr. Speaker :- I think the whole issue that has been discussed in this House will be decided, as both parties contended by the people. So far as the real question is concerned, I have to put before the House. Let us put the question before the House. The question is "that this House express want of confidence in the present Ministry headed by Mr. W.A. Sangma".
(The motion was put to vote and lost)
Ruling by the Speaker.
Now, I will take one very important matter. The House may remember that I reserved my ruling on the question of granting recognition to the Party led by Shri B.B. Lyngdoh inside this House as an official opposition under the name of the A.P.H.L.C. Parliamentary Party. I went through the proceedings of the House yesterday and consulted the existing Rules, Procedure and Parliamentary Convention to satisfy myself whether the three well-known criteria laid down by Parliamentary Conventions have been fulfilled in this case. As the time of my disposal is very short, it is not possible for me to come to a definite conclusion and I am to inform the House that I will not be able to give my ruling today also. Therefore, once again I reserve my ruling till the next session of the Assembly. However, in order to facilitate proper functioning of the business of the House, Shri B.B. Lyngdoh will henceforth perform the duties of the Leader of the Opposition and I allow him all the facilities that are normally offered to the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
Now let us come to the last item, that is prorogation order.
"Raj Bhavan, Shillong.
The 16th December, 1976
In exercise of the powers conferred by clause 2 (a) of Article 174 of the Constitution of India, I, Lallan Prasad Singh, Governor of Meghalaya, hereby prorogue the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly at the conclusion of its sitting on the 18th December, 1976.
Sd/- LALLAN PRASAD SINGH
The House now stands prorogued.
|Dated Shillong :||
|The 18th December, 1976.||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.