Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly held at 9.30 A.M. on Tuesday the Twenty ninth of November, 1977, in the Assembly Chamber Shillong with the Speaker, in the Chair.
Mr. Speaker : Let us begin the business of the day by taking up Unstarred Question No. 13.
(Replies to which were laid on the table)
Loans, financial grants, etc. to the Municipal Board
Shri P. R. Kyndiah asked :
13. Will the Minister-in-charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state the amount of loans, financial grants etc. with particulars, sanctioned by the State Government to the Shillong Municipal Board for 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-1976, 1976-77?
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State incharge of Municipal Administration) replied :
13. The amount of loan, financial grants sanctioned by the State Government to the Shillong Municipal Board for 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77 are furnished below :-
Statement showing sanction of financial grants with particulars to the Shillong Municipal Board :
|Year||Amount of grant||Amount of loan||Purpose|
|Rs.||Grants for general purpose|
|1972-73||2,05,000||1.90||Loan for improvement of Water Supply Scheme.|
|1973-74||1,98,698||Nil||For general purpose.|
|1975-76||1.70 lakhs||Nil||For implementation of development schemes|
|1976-77||1.45 lakhs||Nil||For meeting the excess expenditure in connection with Water Supply and for construction of Harijan Housing.|
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know what "general purpose" stands for the year 1973-74, 1974-75?
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) : For the year 1973-74 an amount of Rs.1,98,698 has been sanctioned for improving the working condition of the workers employed in unclean occupation.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : And for 1974-75.
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) : For the year 1974-75 it has been sanctioned for construction of road and improvement of drains and municipal lanes.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, may we know whether any grant-in-aid was sanctioned in 1976-77 for the purpose of development schemes?
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) : For 1976-77 the reply is there, it is 1.45 lakhs.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : This is only for water supply and for construction of Harijan Housing but not for development schemes.
(Voices : We cannot hear, Sir.)
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) : I want notice.
Loans, grants, etc., sanctioned to the Town Committee and District Councils
Shri P.R. Kyndiah asked :
14. Will the Minister-in-charge of Municipal Administration be pleased to state the amount of loans, grants, etc., with particulars, sanctioned to the Town Committees in the State and to the District Councils, if any?
Shri U. Kharbuli (Minister of State, Municipal Administration) replied :
14.- The amount of grants, etc., with particulars sanctioned to the Town Committees of Tura and Baghmara are as per statement below. No loans have been sanctioned to these Town Committees and neither were grants or loans sanctioned by this Department to the District Councils.
Statement of Grant and loan sanctioned to the Town Committee
For general purposes to the Tura Town Committee.
For construction of Sarai Ghar to the Tura Town Committee.
For construction of road from J. M. Road to F.C.I. godown via Najing Bazar to the Tura Town Committee.
Rs. 10,000 was sanctioned as assistance to newly set up Baghmara Town Committee.
Rs. 30,000 was sanctioned to the Tura Town Committee for general purpose.
Rs. 30,000 was sanctioned to the Tura Town Committee for general purpose.
Rs. 20,000 was sanctioned to the Baghmara Town Committee for general purpose.
Border Areas Schemes
Shri H. E. Pohshna asked :
15. Will the Minister-in-charge of Border Areas Development be pleased to state -
(a) The names of the schemes other than P.W.D. Road Schemes proposed to be implemented during the financial year 1977-78 by the Department?
(b) The names of the authorities both at the District and Directorate levels recommending the schemes?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister-in-charge of Border Areas Development, etc.) replied :
15. (a) - The names of the schemes proposed to be implemented during 1977-78 are :-
|(1) Power Tiller Scheme||Agriculture.|
|(2) Loan-cum-Subsidy Scheme for purchase of Tractors/Power Tillers in the Border Area.|
|(3) Cash Crops Development Scheme (Black pepper Development Scheme)||Soil Conservation.|
|(4) Transport Subsidy Scheme||Supply Department.|
|(5) Establishment of Piggery farm at Pynursla.||Animal Husbandry.|
|(6) Piggery Development in Border Areas ( Distribution of Pig Breeding Units ).|
|(7) Establishment of Weaving Demonstration-cum-Production Centres.||Sericulture and Weaving.|
|(8) Assistance to MECOFED for construction of godowns for storing of border produces.||Cooperation.|
|(9) Assistance to Fishery Co-operative towards purchase of fishing materials such as boats, nets, crafts, etc.||Fishery.|
|(10) Water Supply -
||Public Health Engineering|
|(11) Assistance to Border Students by giving them subsidy/stipend.||Education|
|(12) Assistance to Non-Government Schools for construction, extension, improvement of School and hostel building.|
|(13) Strengthening of administrative machinery for Border Areas Development.||Border Areas Development.|
|(14) Grants-in-aid/ Contribution, etc.|
|(15) Border Areas Marketing.|
The above schemes are being implemented by the Department noted against each.
(b) The schemes are submitted to the Border Areas Development Department by the concerned implementing Development Departments.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : 15 (5), may we know Mr. Speaker, Sir, what types of pigs they are going to supply?
Shri Maham Singh (Minister, Border Areas Development, etc.) : Of course it will be cross breeding. They are foreign pigs but the type I do not know.
Committee for Betasing Administrative Unit
Shri Shamsul Haque asked :
16. Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state -
(a) Whether any Committee has been formed to select a site for Betasing Administrative Unit?
(b) Whether the site has already been selected?
(c) When will the Administrative Unit start functioning?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma ( Chief Minister ) replied :
16. (a) - Yes.
(b) - No.
(c) - The Administrative Unit has already been functioning from Betasing Development Block.
Shri Shamsul Haque : 16 (a). The question was whether any committee has been formed to select a site and the reply is 'Yes'. But may we know the names of the members of the committee?
Shri W.A. Sangma ( Chief Minister ) :
The members are :
|1.||Deputy Commissioner, Garo Hills, Tura||Chairman|
|2.||Chief Executive Member, District Council, Tura||Member|
|3.||Civil Surgeon, Tura||Member|
|4.||Superintending Engineer, P.W.D. (R. & B.), Tura||Member|
|5.||Respective Executive Engineer, P.W.D. in whose areas the proposed Administrative Centre falls||Member|
|6.||Executive Engineer, P.H.E., Tura||Member|
|7.||Executive Engineer, P.H.E., Williamnagar||Member|
|8.||Associate Town Planner||Member|
|9.||Administrative Officer of the area or an Officer to be selected by the Deputy Commissioner.||Secretary|
Shri Jackman Marak : 16 (a). Selection has been done in which year?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : On 12.7.76.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : I have heard the reply was within Garo Hills, which district, East or West?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : West Garo Hills.
Shri S. Sangma : In regard to 16 (a) my supplementary question is when the Committee will start functioning - whether there is any instruction from the Government side?
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well I have stated that this is constituted on 12.7.76 and they have been instructed to find out suitable site for the Administrative unit Headquarter.
Shri S. Sangma : When was the instruction given?
Mr. Speaker : The date had already been given.
Transport Subsidy and distribution of essential commodities in Garo Hills
Shri J.C. Marak asked :
17. Will the Minister-in-charge of Supply be pleased to state -
|(a)||The number of subsidised and non-subsidised centres in Garo Hills?|
|(b)||Whether there has been proper distribution of essential commodities to the Bamongiri Fair Price Shops under Chokpot Block?|
|(c)||Who is the Superintendent of Supply in Garo Hills?|
Shri E. Bareh ( Minister-in-charge of Supply ) replied :
17. (a) - There are 55 centres where transport subsidy scheme is extended and 449 centres which do not come under the transport subsidy.
(b) - Yes.
(c) - Shri N. K. Rajkhowa is the Superintendent of Supply, West Garo Hills, Tura. No post of Superintendent of Supply has been sanctioned for East Garo Hills.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh asked :
18. Will the Minister-in-charge of Transport be pleased to state -
(a) Whether it is a fact that the Umroi airfield is to be abandoned?
(b) If so, the reasons thereof?
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) replied :
18. (a) - Yes.
(b) - As neither the Indian Airlines nor any private operator is operating at present.
The State Government is taking up the matter with the Government of India to resume the operations.
Shri P. R. Kyndiah : When did the State Government take up the matter with the Government of India?
Shri W.A. Sangma ( Chief Minister ) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the last visit of the Prime Minister we have submitted a memorandum requesting him that the air field be utilised and we wanted that a small aircraft belonging to the Indian Airlines Corporation should be placed. I had a discussion with the Minister of Civil Aviation during my last visit to Delhi and I expressed our concern that since it was done for the last two years it would not be desirable to abandon it. As already stated we want a link with others parts of India and it will be unfortunate if the airfield is abandoned and I was assured he would reconsider the matter. I was informed that during October last they were going to procure three Boring planes and it will case the air craft position.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- 18(a) Since when the Umroi Airfield has been abandoned ?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- 1st August 19
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not a fact that the reason why the Indian Air-lines Corporation had not started operating aircraft through Umroi Airfield was that certain equipments required for the air field have not been put into operation and it so, has the State Government apart from getting aircraft, requested the Government of India to put in these particular equipments required before the Indian Airlines corporation operates through this air field
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- Well Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the hon. questioners knows very well a private air company was operating this and we have been pressing the Government of India that Indian Airlines Corporation should operate. With regard to the question of installation of equipments, that is a different question but we have been taking up this matter with the Government of India to install necessary equipments so that the Indian airlines can run the services from Calcutta to Umroi and then to Jorhat.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh:- 18(a). Whether the plots of land where the Umroi Airfield has been constructed will be returned to the people?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- I cannot follow the question.
Mr. Speaker :- Repeat the question.
Shri Dlosing Lyngdoh :- Whether the plots of land where the Umroi Airfield has been constructed will be returned tot he owners?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- That question does not arise because we are pursuing the matter with the Government of India.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- The answer to 18(a) is that the Umroi Airfield is abandoned. Therefore, the question is whether the land is to be returned to the owners.
Mr. Speaker :- The Chief Minister has stated that it was abandoned by the Indian Airlines but the Government of Meghalaya is pursuing the matter.'
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh :- We are concerned with the abandonment of the Airfield. May we understand that the Government of India had not decided to complete and run the Airlines. So the question of abandonment is to be corrected.
Mr. Speaker :- Who abandoned?
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- The question itself reads like this whether it is a fact that the Umroi Airfield is to be abandoned? The reply should have been that the services have been abandoned?
Mr. Speaker :- Private Airlines services have been abandoned?
Shri H. Hadem :- The question is for the Airfield. It is not for the services.
Shri W.A. Sangma Chief Minister :- It should have been that the service which was being operated by the private Airlines is being abandoned for the present
Fair Price Shop In Garo Hills.
Shri J. C. Marak asked :-
|19.||Will the Minister in charge of Supply be pleased to state :-|
|(a)||Whether government is aware of the public complaint at Chokpot to the effect that the Fair Price Shop at Chokpot is not properly distributing foodstuff to the consumers|
|(b)||Who is the licensee of Chokpot Fair Price Shop?|
|(c)||Who is the overall in charge of supply matter in Garo Hills ?|
Shri Edwingson Bareh Minister , Supply replied :-
|(b)||Shri Jinjar Sangma is the present temporary dealer.|
|(c)||The Deputy Commissioners of the East and West|
Shri Jackman Marak :- (b) Who was the first dealer of this fair price shop?
Shri E. Bareh Minister of Supply :- He is Mr. Nelson Sangma.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (a) Who were the complainants?
Shri E. Bareh Minister, Supply :- I want notice for that question.
Shri Jackman Marak :- (b) Why the license to Shri Nelson Sangma was cancelled?
Shri E. Bareh Minister Supply :- There were complaints against the regular fair price shop dealer and while the mater is under investigation, his license was suspended and a temporary dealer has been appointed in his place so that the people should not face difficulties.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Since when Shri Jinjar Sangma was made the present temporary dealer.
Shri E. Bareh Minister, Supply :- I want notice for that.
Shri H. Hadem :- How long the former dealer has been suspended?
Shri E. Bareh Minister, Supply :-I want notice for that.
Release of Shillong Government Press Employees.
Shri A. Warjri asked :-
|20.||Will the Minister in charge of Printing and Stationery be pleased to state :-|
|(a)||Whether Government has received any petition from certain employees of the Shillong Government Press for releasing them to Assam?|
|(b)||If so when was the petition made.|
|(c)||Whether it is a fact that an agreement was arrived at by the Chief Secretary of the two states fixing the last date for final absorption by the State of Assam .|
|(d)||The number of employees so far absorbed by the State of Assam.|
|(e)||The reasons for non absorption of the rest?|
|(f)||Whether the employees of the Shillong Government.|
|(g)||Whether the duputationists enjoy the same facilities as enjoyed by the Government employees of the State of Assam|
Shri Francis K. Mawlot Minister of State Printing and Stationery replied :-
|(b)||The joint petition dated 31st March 1976 was received by the Government on 1st April 1976.|
|(c)||There was no such agreement. However there was a discussion on 8th April 1975 between the then Chief Secretaries of Assam and Meghalaya wherein they agree to the transfer of the staff considered in excess of the requirement of this Government from the Government Press Shillong to the Assam Government Press, Gauhati in the phased manner to be completed before 31st December 1976.|
|(d)||altogether 62 employees upto July 1975.|
|(e)||The Government of Assam are not willing to accept more employees proposed for transfer by this government unless the issue of assets and liabilities of the Government Press Shillong is settled.|
|(f)||yes in so far as the non Gazetted Staff of the Press are concerned.|
|(g)||As far as practicable the deputationist enjoy the same facilities as enjoyed by the Government employees of the state of Assam.|
Prof. A. Warjri :- (c) In reply to 20(c) whether the two sentences are not contradictory because it was stated in the first instance that there was no agreement. But later on it was stated that it was agreed.
Shri F.K .Mawlot Minister of State P and S) :- There are no agreement. Of course there was a discussion between the two Chief Secretaries on the lines that the employees of the Government here in Shillong who are considered to be in excess will be taken by the government of Assam in a phased manner.
Mr. Speaker :- So there was no signed agreement.
Shri Rowell Lyngdoh :- (e) We want to know the reason for non settlement of assets and liabilities of the government Press.
Shri F.K. Mawlot Minister of State P and S :- The question is under consideration of this Government in consultation with the law and Reorganization Departments and they have not finalised as to whether we should agree to the demand of the Government of Assam to apportion some of the machines of the government of Assam.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (a) How many employees were a party to the petition?
Shri F.K. Mawlot Minister of state for P and S. :- 62 Mr. Speaker, Sir,
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- (d) Whether it is not a fact that a few employees were absorbed after July, 1975?
Shri F.K. Mawlot Minister of State for P and S :- 20 employees were absorbed by the Government of Assam on 16th July 1975.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang :- The reply to 20(e) is that the reasons for non absorption is that the Government of Assam are not willing to accept more employees proposed for transfer by t his government unless the issue of assets and liabilities of the Government Press Shillong is settled. We want to know why it has not been settled uptil now?
Shri F. K. Mawlot Minister of State for P and S :- We have prepared the draft agreement but the Government of Assam has of agreed to it so for.
Prof. A. Warjri :- Yes they both the Chief Secretaries.
Shri F.K. Mawlot Minster of State for P and S :- I want notice or that.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy :- In reply to 20(e) it is stated that the government of Assam are not willing to accept more employed proposed for transfer by this government unless the issue of assets and liabilities of the Government Press Shillong is settled. Many we know whether this is being discuss and why it has taken so long to come to an agreement?
Shri F.K. Mawlot ( Minister of State P and S ) : Sir, I have already stated that we have prepared a draft agreement and we are pursuing the matter with the Government of Assam to accept but so far they have not accepted.
Mr. Speaker : Item No.2 - Calling Attention given notice by Shri S. N. Koch .
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to call the attention of the Chief Minister under Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Assembly to a news item appearing in the local newspaper the 'Shillong Herald', of 16th November, 1977, under the caption "Misuse of Government Vehicle".
Mr. Speaker : The Chief Minister to make a statement.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, Shri M.N. Majaw, the M.L.A. and by his letter dated 28th August, 1977, requested the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Meghalaya House, Calcutta, for the Government vehicle of the Meghalaya House, Calcutta for his private use for 3 or 4 days on payment of the prescribed rates, if the same was not required for official use. Since the vehicle was not required for official use, the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta, allowed Shri Majaw the use of vehicle No.WMB-5416 on 29th August, 1977, 30th August, 1977 and 31st august, 1977 and Shri Majaw paid the prescribed charges calculated at Rs.114.80 P.
Details of the incident leading to accident of the Government vehicle are as follows -
Around 9 P.M. on the night of 31st August, 1977, Shri Santosh Dutta, Driver of Government vehicle No. WMB-5416 took Shri martin Narayan Majaw, M.L.A. by the vehicle to Elliot Road and returned to the Meghalaya House around 1 A.M. on 1st September, 1977. Shri Majaw asked the driver to get down and after taking the key of the vehicle from Shri Dutta, he drove the vehicle away. Further, Shri Dutta reports that besides Shri Majaw, three other persons of whom one was a lady were in the vehicle at the time the M.L.A. took over the vehicle from him (As reported by Shri Santosh Dutta, Driver).
Shri Majaw took this step and stated "I would also recommend that the driver not be penalised as it was purely on humanitarian grounds that I sent him alone as he was sleepy and I could drive well".
Shri Santosh Dutta got down from the vehicle and returned to his quarters in the Meghalaya House. Shri Majaw sat in the driver's seat and drove the vehicle away as reported by Shri Khirod Ch. Samal, Night Chowkidar, on duty.
Shri M.N. Majaw, MLA, stated that as some of his friends were quite late with him on the night of 31.8.77, he had dispensed with the services of Shri Santosh Dutta, driver of the vehicle and went out himself. He stated "as ill-luck would have it despite the slow speed at which I was driving because of the numerous pot-holes and when I was right up against the payment at Barabazar, a green coloured truck rushing at a terrible speed hit the right hand mudguard of the car, thereby dislocating the bonnet. I tried to break immediately and tried to read the license plate of the rapidly disappearing truck but to no avail. The accident occurred at about 2:45 A.M. at the crossing of Harrison Road and Chittaranjan Avenue. All I could do then under the circumstances was to drive the vehicle slowly to the Petrol Pump along the road and left it there in the custody of the durwan".
Shri Santosh Dutta, driver, stated that he awoke at about 7:30 A.M. on the morning of 1.9.77 and immediately enquired from Shri M.N. Majaw about the vehicle and was informed about the accident. Shri M.N. Majaw gave him a slip and on producing the slip to the durwan of the Petrol Pump, took delivery of the damaged vehicle and brought it back to the Meghalaya House by pushing the same with the help of three persons.
The whole matter was first reported to the Trade Adviser, Calcutta, by Shri Santosh Dutta, driver, around 8 A.M. on 1.9.77. The Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta, immediately brought the matter to the notice of the Government by a wire dated 1.9.77 followed by a D.O. letter dated 2.9.77. Other steps taken by the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements were as follows -
1. To inform the West Bengal Police about the accident as required under Rule 3 (V) of the aforesaid Rules.
2. To get the damaged Government vehicle repaired by accepting the lowest tender as required under Rule 2(i). Incidentally, the repair charges came to Rs.2546.50 p and the bill for payment has been sent to Shri M.N. Majaw MLA. Shri Majaw by his letter dated 15.11.77 has requested the Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta for some more time to enable him to settle the bill. No advance payment to the firm has been made by the Government on this account.
The Trade Adviser and Director of Movements, Calcutta had also called for written explanations from Shri Santosh Dutta, Driver, and Shri Khirod Ch. Samal, Night Chowkidar on the incident leading to damage of the Government vehicle. Government has examined the explanations submitted by Shri Santosh Dutta, Driver, and Shri Khirod Ch. Samal, Chowkidar. A warning has been issued to the Driver for contravening Rule 3 (i) of the aforesaid Rules. Government is still examining the appropriate action to be taken against Shri M.N. Majaw, MLA.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Rule 282, I would request you to allow me to make a personal explanation.
Mr. Speaker : Yes.
*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the first place, I would like to point out that this report in the newspaper when you read is so much different from the statement given by the Chief Minister and I am happy that all the basic facts have been laid here by the Chief Minister in his statement. This only shows that this report in the paper is malicious aimed at maligning me and certainly a product of a dirty and filthy mind. Of course the English being so excellent it could not have been the Editor's language. Now this has been brought to the attention of the House.
Mr. Speaker : Do you mean to say that the Editor cannot write English.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : But having read the editorial, as an examiner of English paper, he would have got more marks than the Editor himself. Now, Mr, Speaker, sir, the first thing to be noted here is that the car was taken as per rule and the payment of 70 Paise per kilometer as stated by the Chief Minister was followed and correctly done and paid also. There was no such thing as removal or driving out the car under suspicious circumstances. Secondly, the persons in the car were the officers of the Indian Airlines, the pilot and his wife and of course, if the presence of the wife of a friend of mine is objectionable, then all wives become objectionable. The next point Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that payment is being arranged and I have taken the undertaking to make the payment myself. As a matter of fact, the car should have been insured, but it was not insured as all Government vehicles are not insured, I do not know for what reason. The third thing is that while I was driving the car along the Chittaranjan Avenue - of course it is called Barabazar a green truck rushing at a tremendous speed hit the vehicle from the side. I did not dash against anything at all and the people nearby helped to push the car and also recommended the petrol pump as a safe place. That shows that I was in no way responsible and the people of the area advised me not to travel late at night because those trucks and buses do not observe traffic rules. The only mistake I have made which I have mentioned in my letter to the Trade Adviser was that I dismissed the services of the driver. I thought he was very sleepy and so I sent him away. I would point out Mr. Speaker, Sir, that although Government rules prohibit the use of a Government car without a driver, there are so many officers in the State and even Ministers - there are so many Ministers sitting in this Assembly who drove cars without Government drivers for going to church and other places. The only mistake that I made in releasing the driver was on humanitarian consideration. May I point also Mr. Speaker, Sir, if we are to look at the records in the Transport Department, I know from the Transport Secretary, to the Government of Meghalaya, what has happened from the very first day when Meghalaya came into being, when on the 3rd April 1970 the son of a great Minister of the State took the Government car and broke it. But Mr. Speaker, Sir, even when the car was smashed up by the son of the above great Minister mentioned, the Government took the responsibility and got the car repaired. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are not Ministers but when we sometimes commit mistakes as far as I am concerned I am making payment for the damage. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to point out in this Calling Attention Motion that it seems strange that the matter did not get proper publicity. So long it seems that all these unfortunate incidents should get wide publicity because it is a Congress paper and because I have left the Congress party so it has happened like this.
Mr. Speaker : You cannot call a Congress Paper, it is a pro-Congress paper.
Now, I call upon the Minister-in-charge, of Labour to lay on the Table of the House the statement on Calling Attention Motion by Sarbashri P.N. Choudhury and S. N. Koch. This statement will form part of today's proceedings.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Labour) : The alleged retrenchment of 260 workers as appeared in the news item of the issue of the Assam Tribune, dated 18th December 1977 is absolutely incorrect and not based on facts. the factory did not have at any point of time a total strength of 260 workers as reported. The total strength of workers varies between 220 and 240 from time to time. In this connection a copy of reply of clarification sent to Director of Information and Public Relations is also enclosed and the report submitted by the Labour Inspector, Shillong, forwarded under this office letter No.M.L.D.144/76.2196, dated 15th September 1977 may please be referred to.
It was reported that about 30 workers left the place without information to the Management around the period of the strike as a result of reported threat by the leaders of the workers who resorted to illegal strike.
A brief history of the labour situation in Meghalaya Plywood is given below.
That alleged strike was resorted to by some section of the workers on the issue of settlement of various grievances of the employees of the factory, such as increase in the rates of wages, overtime, provisions of quarters for the workers, supply of water, medical treatment and improvement of the approach road leading to the staff quarters. This information was received by us on 26th July 1977. On receipt of the information of the strike the labour Inspector, Shillong as Conciliation Officer was deputed to visit the factory on the same day to attempt for a settlement and persuade the workers to withdraw the strike. A settlement was arrived at and the strike was called off on the same day on the 26th July 1977 around 7 a.m. in pursuance of the Conciliation Officer's assurance that the grievance would be taken up with the management in accordance with the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and the Rules made there under. As per agreement a majority of striking workers resumed duty on 27th July 1977 except three of them namely, Satish Deka, Anil Das and Babul Narunder who were the leaders of the striking workers. The three leaders contended that they could not resume work on 27th July 1977 as they were ill for which they had applied for leave of absence. So, when these three workers reported for duty on 1st August 1977 they were not allowed to resume work. In the meanwhile a conciliation proceeding was started as provided in the Industrial Disputes Act. However, during the tendency of the conciliation proceeding, information was received on 12th September, 1977 that the workers were going on strike again on 13th September, 1977. Immediately on receipt of this information, the Labour Inspector, who is also the Conciliation Officer was deputed in the afternoon of 12th September 1977 to Byrnihat to ascertain the position. The Labour Inspector met the three leaders and others, held discussion with them and also explained to them that it is against the provision of law to go on strike while the conciliation proceeding is still pending. The Labour Inspector halted overnight in Byrnihat to observe the situation. Despite the efforts made by the Labour Inspector to persuade the workers not to strike, the next day, i.e. on 13th September 1977 a section of workers numbering about 60 resorted to strike from morning. The Labour Inspector again tried to persuade the striking workers to withdraw the strike as this is illegal since the dispute is pending conciliation before him. The workers did not listen to his advice. As reported by him, some workers picketed the factory and did not allow the willing workers to come in or go out and also obstructed the plying of vehicles to and from the factory. As a result the police had to intervene and 17 workers who picketed the factory were taken into custody by the police. With the arrest of 17 workers, the strike fizzled out and the situation in the factory returned to normalcy. The dispute on the issue of termination of the three leaders as well as in the issues indicated earlier is now pending conciliation before the Labour Commissioner who has taken up the matter at his level with the parties.
Mr. Speaker : So now before going to Item No. 4 there is another very important item, a notice for which have received from Prof. M. N. Majaw. The notice reads like this :
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,|
Dated 29th November, 1977
Under the provisions of Rules 159, 160 and 167, I propose to make a complaint of a breach of privilege today against Mr. Sibendra Narayan Koch Honourable Member from Mendipathar, for the following reasons :
Yesterday afternoon, soon after the rising of the House, while I was standing along the corridors outside the office of the Chief News Editor, and was talking to Mr. Parthasarathi Syam and Mr. Amitava Choudhury, Mr. Sibendra Narayan Koch, M.L.A. suddenly approached me and vociferously congratulated me with words "Congratulations for winning your point of order; but the Speaker's decision is wrong!"
I immediately warned him to keep quiet, as his remarks would be derogatory to the dignity of the Speaker and of the House.
He, however, persisted by beginning to open his book of rules to prove his point that the Honourable Speaker's decision was wrong.
As the incident is recent and of a specific matter, and more so as it constitutes a gross violation of the sovereign authority of the House and of its rights and privileges, as reposed in the Honourable Speaker, I intend to move this Privilege Motion against the Honourable Member from Mendipathar.
|Sd/- M.N. Majaw, M.L.A.|
In the meantime in this particular type of breach of privilege which Prof. M.N. Majaw, had contended, it appears that Shri S. N. Koch has received the notice, because I have received a letter from him just now. The explanation from Mr. Koch reads as follows :-
|Meghalaya Legislative Assembly,|
I beg to state that I received a notice U/R 159,160 and 167 of the Rules of procedure and Conduct of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and to say that the complaint is not based on facts as I never met him neither I congratulated him nor I made any comment derogatory to the Chair as alleged by the hon. Member.
This is for favour of your kind information and needful.
|Sd/- S. N. Koch,|
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a very simple solution I think I can bring the witnesses here to show the correctness of my complaint. And if the House permits I am ready to bring them.
Mr. Speaker : The point here is this. If the hon. Member as alleged by you had really spoken, which amounts to criticising the ruling of the Chair then it is a very serious matter. But here is a case where the hon. Member has denied. So the question is put to the House and I cannot say whom to believe.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : That is why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have mentioned just now about my witness and if the House is willing to know the facts and if the House permits I am ready to bring the witness.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, in that case the Privilege Committee is required to enquire into the matter.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a matter of evidence and evidence could be given only by those who are present but not by those who are not present.
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a charge and there is a complete denial. As already stated by the Leader of the Opposition, it is really very hard to decide which one is correct and which one is not.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the complainant is an hon. Member of the House and the defendant is also an hon. Member of the House. We have heard the explanations from each side and I see there is nothing we can proceed further on this because the complainant has said so and so whereas the defendant has said that he has never said anything to him.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : But the fact has to be established.
Shri H. Hadem : That is the contention which has to be proved otherwise this will be a bad precedent in future because, in future, if any charge is leveled against me, I can simply say that I have said nothing or I can simply deny and so the mater will end there.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, particularly it affects the dignity of the Chair and of the House. All the rights and privileges are reposed in you and any affront is an affront to the entire House and so I strongly suggest that the truth of this matter be found out. That is why I have quoted the names of the persons who are respectable people from Laitumkhrah who are known to this House also.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had thought that this matter is a simple one. I had never anticipated that the matter would be as complex as it is. If it is just a matter of complaint and then the person denies that he has said so, then that is a different thing. I do not believe that the complainant will mistake Mr. Koch as there is only one Mr. Koch here. In any case, since it is a case of total and absolute denial of meeting, the matter is serious. Therefore, it is not just as simple as we have thought it to be. So, this is a fit case that should be referred to the Privilege Committee.
Mr. Speaker : The question is this. If the contention of Prof. Majaw is wrong it might tantamount to a breach of privilege.......
Prof. M.N. Majaw : In fact, so.
Mr. Speaker : And if the contention of Prof. Majaw is correct, then of course, the matter can be resolved here. But since there is complete denial by the other hon. Member, it is up to the House to suggest because it affects the Chair. But if it affects somebody else ........
Prof. M.N. Majaw : May I come to your aid by suggesting that we can save the time of the House. If we call these gentlemen tomorrow and ask them.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : But that is a wrong procedure. It is a matter for the Privilege Committee and not for the whole House.
Shri H. Hadem : It may be done, Sir. There was a precedent when the Editor of Young India had been called and tried before the House.
Mr. Speaker : The Editor of Young India was called to the Bar of the House only after the Privilege Committee had recommended such a course of action.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I consider it not worthwhile to proceed with this matter further because the hon. Member has totally denied.
Mr. Speaker : Then in that case the House will have to refer the complaint to the Privilege Committee for reflecting on either the Chair or any other Member who presided.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir .............
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Agriculture) : He is still on his feet.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : But he is not talking.
Shri Maham Singh (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) : The main question here is whether the words were uttered. He has denied that he had said so.
Mr. Speaker : In that case, I will have to refer the letter of Prof. Majaw to the Committee of Privileges to find out whether he has committed a breach of privilege. I mean both sides. It effects both.
( A voice - It is a two-edged sword).
I do not know. If the Leader of the House can guide us in these matters.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Well, Mr. Speaker, Sir, it appears to me that it is a matter of surprise that such a complaint should have been brought to the House on certain alleged statement by members outside the House. It would be difficult Mr. Speaker, Sir, to prove it. Now the complainant said "I have some witnesses". Well, the other person has denied that he had made such a statement and he can also produce witnesses. Therefore, when there is no prima facie case, I think it will create a very bad precedent if we are to take cognisance of such a complaint. I would, therefore, suggest that the matter may be dropped and I think it must give a lesson to all of us that unless and until there is a prima facie case, there is no use bringing such a complaint to the House.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the matter to be dropped, there must be reasons. If a serious charge has been brought and if we are to drop it without any basis, then it will create a bad precedent.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is one point more. Of course, I do not belittle what the Leader of the House has said. I have listened carefully that this had happened outside the House.
Mr. Speaker : No, he has not said that.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Yes, he has said that. This incident occurred within the precincts of the House. If it has happened outside then I would agree with you. But here the matter happened within the precincts of the House and in presence of witnesses whether from this side or that side. So, I think this matter should be referred to the Privilege Committee which should go into it and examine the whole question so that the whole matter may be treated not as lightly as we were going to do. We thought it would be a simple matter and as I go on talking on this matter I see that this is a very serious matter because it effects the prestige and decorum of the House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : But whether there is proof that such a statement had been made within the precincts of the House? As I said earlier, there is no prima facie case. suppose in future I put in a complaint. Just for the sake of understanding it, whether it will not be a very bad precedent if, in future also, somebody just bring in an allegation like the one we have today and we do it in future when A complaints against B and B against C; and if we have to take cognisance without any definite basis for that.
Mr. Speaker : Whoever occupies the Chair his rulings should always be respected by all the Members whether inside or outside the House. The question here is whether such kind of criticism or remarks did really take place, that is a matter to be established. Since it so happened that I occupied the Chair, I think I need little time to consider and I will give my ruling when I will be able to find out some other types of solution which will not embarrass anybody else.
So, before taking up Item No.4, there is one notice which is in the form of special motion which Prof. Majaw intends to move and I have advised him to move only the first portion I mean, perhaps the House agrees, to express its profound shock and sorrow over the cyclonic cataclysm that recently overtook the States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala leaving in its wake tens of thousands of dead persons and incalculable loss to the inhabitants of those areas. The House offers its deepest condolence to the bereaved families of the unfortunate victims. So, now Mr. Majaw may move his motion. But I think you can also add the Union Territory of Pondicherry in your motion.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to propose and move that this House expresses its deep sorrow and shock over the cyclonic cataclysm that took over the States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well as the Union Territory of Pondicherry very recently leaving in its wake tens of thousands of dead persons and incalculable loss to the inhabitants of those areas. I think that it should have come much earlier as .....................
Mr. Speaker : No, no, I think we all have the same feeling.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when all the international radio stations were offering their sympathy and when all the States all over India are also concerned over this matter, I think the House also should express sorrow and shock over the sudden and unexpected cyclonic cataclysm that befell those unfortunate people of those States. Even in the newspapers, we are reading almost every day the harrowing tales of devastation by the cyclonic storm which washed away many villages and there was complete dislocation of life in those States. Sir, we are at a loss as to how we can offer our sympathy to the bereaved families and request the Government to see whether a token contribution could be made from the Chief Minister's relief fund.
Mr. Speaker : This House also offers its deepest condolence to the bereaved families of those unfortunate victims. Does the House agree to this ( Voice -Yes, Yes). After that I will inform the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry about the deep sense of shock and sorrow and also that we are much concerned as in other parts of the country. So let us pass on to Item No.4.Mr. E. Pohshna to move Resolution No.1.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move my resolution. I move that this House urge upon the State Government to take steps for the establishment of the Medical College in the State of Meghalaya.
Mr. Speaker : Motion moved. Now you can initiate the discussion.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Sir, in moving this resolution I will be very brief in my speech because I hope that the hon. Members of the House do realise the same thing i.e., the necessity of a Medical College in the State of Meghalaya. Almost all States have got Medical Colleges except in the North Eastern Region where the new States, have been created. Considering the backwardness of the people in the State of Meghalaya in education and about the difficulties of the parents to send their children to the Medical Colleges in other States and considering the economic condition which our people are facing in their march towards getting the advantage of modern civilisation in respect of all developments including medical and considering the health condition of the people which our Minister, our Government in the budget speeches and even the Governor in his Address have mentioned about the acute shortage of doctors in the rural areas, lack of medical and para-medical personnel in the State and the difficulties in making programmes for training in medical lines and in giving scholarship for sending our students to the other various institutions and also considering the necessity of extension of medical facilities being an essential part of the social services of the development programme, I find that there is no solution for our people except to implement the long expected establishment of a Medical College. While referring to these, I think it will not be out of place to mention here that in spite of the fact that there is the Gauhati University, the Dibrugarh University, still the Government of India on special considerations, on the special fundamental principle, they have seen the special necessity of the North Eastern Hills University for our hill people. There has been no dearth of seats in the Gauhati University nor in the Dibrugarh University but the Government of India have established the University for the States in the North Eastern Region which have been carved out of Assam. It is a fact that there is the Medical College in Gauhati, the Medical College in Dibrugarh, the Medical College in Silchar even then, I think under the very same fundamental principle we should consider about the necessity of opening up and the establishment of the medical college for Meghalaya. Therefore, Sir, in my opinion the very same principle we will adopt in the House that the University has been granted for our State under special consideration of the Government of India. It is very useful that we should have our own medical college for the North Eastern Council which has got the surrounding States like Nagaland, Mizoram and others. I think the establishment of a medical college for this State will held the States under the N.E.C. Sir, our people in the hills have been crying and crying over the difficulties in getting seats for our students and to send students to various medical colleges of India, I think, it is not very very safe in the interest of keeping our identity. We cannot deny the fact that the attractions are there, temptations are there. Some attractions and temptations are there that some of them may not return to their home State. So, Sir, the college if established, will help the parents of the students from the economic and social point of view. Sir, I request the members of the House to lend support to this resolution and I would also request the Government to give serious consideration to this subject. At least, if we cannot start a medical college at the moment which is so very very urgent and very very important we should for the benefit of the people of this State take some steps in order to see that in this last session we are giving a very very good suggestion for the next Government to implement what has been decided by this House now.
Shri Jormanik Syiem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the resolution because we are short of medico personnel, of medical facilities which we should have got. The State of Meghalaya has got a University although it is a Central University, but it has not got any medical college which is really necessary for this area, while Assam has got three medical colleges. Our people will not be able to go and ask for seats from other States and many of them are not in a position to accommodate our students and that a Medical College at Imphal also cannot accommodate all our students. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think that this resolution needs support from the whole House because Meghalaya is in great need of a medical college. By having a medical college of our own we can expect that the doctors will come out from our tribal students and will be able to man the top posts, responsible posts in the Medical Department. As we are now, we find that most of the important posts and responsible posts are not being held by the tribal medical men. We need our own men to man the top posts in the State. Therefore, it is quite a fit resolution that in the session on the floor of this House we should pass this resolution and expect that the coming Government will implement what we agree today. We cannot emphasise too much because everybody knows what the medical college could do to uplift the social and economic condition of our people of this area. And as tribals we are still lagging behind in medical facilities, in medical personnel. So the only solution that can be expected will be by starting a medical college in those areas wherever it is located. With these few words I support the resolution moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang.
(At this stage the Speaker left the Chamber and Shri G. Mylliemngap, Chairman, occupied the Chair)
*Shri D.N. Joshi : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the resolution brought forward here, a resolution which has engaged the minds of many right-thinking persons in the State. There is no denying the fact that our people here in our State are second to none in India to pursue different pursuits in life and to pursue different branches of education and we have found that they have excelled in many respects. But due to the apathetic attitude of the alien Government the genius of our people could not get the chance to develop. Now with the emergence of our own State some efforts in the right direction are being made by our Government to create facilities for all round development of our people mostly of the rising generation. Here Sir, on this very floor of the House I have had occasion to point out the necessity of establishing a medical college some two years ago, but I did not come with the resolution. So I thank my fellow Member for having brought this resolution. I have had a very bitter experience Sir, in the past for getting deserving students admitted in the medical college of other States. But for the State of Meghalaya in the beginning there were 19 seats in the Gauhati Medical College, in the Dibrugarh Medical College, in the Silchar Medical College. But gradually these seats were reduced or taken away, and the Medical College of Manipur reserved only 8 seats for Meghalaya and that also has come down to 5 seats. Some of our students are very much desirous of having medical studies, but they find difficulties in getting accommodation. I know two particular cases, one was sent to Bankura Medical College and after spending much time and money he had to come back here again to pursue science or post-graduate study, because he could not get any facilities for such studies. So the desire of being a medical man and serving the society in future was frustrated. In another case one fellow has to go as far as down to Madras to get his study there in the Madras University. In the Madras University, in one college he had to come back. After full one year he got his seat in Mysore Medical College. He had lost one year. It is only because no University and no College in our country has got spare seats and because everywhere there is dearth of doctors and physicians. So, each State is busy in creating facilities for their own students because in India the number of doctors is very few compared to other parts of the world in advanced countries. There is a doctor for every one thousand people, whereas in our country hardly there is one doctor for 40,000 and in our State where the desire and the genius par excellence are there. We must have one medical college to train our students so that besides serving the interest of our own State we can serve the interest of our country as a whole. Sir, to have a college we need a University. Fortunately we have got one University in our State. But it is a Central University and under the Central University we will feel proud to have a Medical College under that University to serve the interest of our State and also the country. To have a medical college we need the infrastructure and here in our State we have got that, the desire and the will of the Government should be there. I believe while we have got the support not only from this side of the House but also from the opposite side, from a member who supported this resolution, I do not know the reason why there should not be support from each and every member of this House. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, as my friend, the hon. mover of the resolution has rightly stated, let us pass this resolution today, in the last Session of ours during our tenure of office as representatives of the people. The resolution goes a long way in fulfilling the need of a medical college to facilitate and create facilities for our young men and young women to become medical people, to use it to the best interest of the State and the ailing people of our State and the suffering people of our country and leave behind some more noble work to be taken up by the in-coming Assembly that would be effected in the beginning of the next year, if everything goes well. So, with these few words Sir, I again thank the mover of this resolution and support it with all the sympathy at my command.
Shri P.N. Choudhury : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the resolution moved by my friend Mr. H.E. Pohshna for establishment of a medical college in the State. Sir, I think there cannot be two opinions about the paramount need for such a medical college in this State. Knowing as we do that there are vast areas in the State which have not been covered by the medical facilities. There are many areas where there is not even a Primary Health Centre. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the seats allotted to the State by different medical colleges in Assam as well as outside are inadequate in comparison with the needs of the State. Shortages of medicos in the State have affected the efficiency of the hospitals, dispensaries and health centres. Therefore, Sir, a medical college is a must for the State. Even at Silchar there is a medical college in addition to the two, one at Dibrugarh and the other at Gauhati. We all know how the medical college hospital at Silchar was started. It was started initially as the Silchar hospital and now in course of a few years it has become a full-fledged medical college. Sir, we have the infrastructure for a medical college. We have got four good Hospitals, we have got a very good Civil Hospital. This can be an infrastructure for starting a medical college in the State. There should not be any problem for finance. We can move Government for financial help. The N.E.C. may also come to our help. NEHU can also take the initiative for starting a medical college. Sir, there is hardly any need to stress the importance of having a medical college in the State. Almost all the States in the country have their own medical college and in many States there is more than one college. Meghalaya is a backward State with lesser medical facilities and shortage of medicos, and it should have a medical college in no time. So, Sir, before I conclude, I thank the mover for bringing this resolution and I extend my whole-hearted support to this.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Chairman, Sir, at the outset, I am very much thankful to the mover of this resolution for bringing such a very important and needy resolution before this august House. I do not want to dwell at length on the need of establishing a medical college in the State. We have had enough experience during the last five or six years regarding the difficulties of our boys and girls who want to study in medical college. I think the hon. mover of this resolution has thought very carefully when he brought out such a resolution at the fag end of this august House. Probably, this is the last session of this Assembly and personally, I feel that I have had enough experience when I go for treatment outside the State. It is really commendable and I cannot express or say any word about the treatment that I have got outside the State. So the resolution for establishment of a medical college as proposed by the hon. mover from Nongtalang, Mr. H.E. Pohshna, deserves the adoption from all sides of this House and I believe that such a resolution ought to be passed by this House. I do not see any difficulty about financial position if we really want to establish it. But if we do not want it, we may have so many things to say. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I whole-heartedly support this resolution and with these few words, I resume my seat.
Shri William Cecil R. Marak : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to say something on the resolution moved by Shri H.E. Pohshna. I am really very grateful to him for bringing this resolution to this House. We all have realised the need of a medical college in our State. It is not only in some places where there is a medical college, but I think in almost all the States in our country there are medical colleges to cater to the growing need of those States. To cater to the need of this State and our people in the field of medical science and allied facilities, we also should have a medical college here in Meghalaya. I believe this resolution will get the support from every Member of the House. With these few words, and since many speakers have spoken on the need of establishing a medical college of our own, I do not want to elaborate any more and I would simply extend my support to this resolution.
Shri Onward Leyswel Nongtdu : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would also like to participate in this resolution moved by the hon. Member from Nongtalang. I am one with him in so far as the need for our own medical college in this State is concerned. Even if we take from the side of the economy of the people of our State, we find that most of the intelligent boys and girls are not able to go to different medical colleges outside the State because of the poor economic condition of their parents. So from this point of view, if such a college is established here, it will be easy for the parents to send their children to such a college. It has also been mentioned that many dispensaries and primary health centres in the rural areas do not have doctors. The fact is that it is very difficult to get seats in the medical college outside the State. There are many applicants or candidates who want to go to medical colleges but due to the limitation of seats allotted to our State, it is quite difficult for them to do so. This is one of the factors mentioned by the hon. mover when he said that it is also not safe for the young boys and girls when they go to study in the medical colleges outside the State, as there are many attractions which may attract them there and there is every likelihood of their not returning to our State when they finish the course. While he mentioned this point, Sir, I remember another fact that when I raised a question in this House about the establishment of pharmacists' training school and the reply from the Government at that time was that there were no qualified people to man or to run such a school. Therefore, when there was a proposal to start such a school, it has not been possible to start even now. So also Sir, we have on many occasions talked about the influx of people from outside to our State and this is one of the most difficult problems we are facing here. I have just stated that I am one with the mover of the resolution and I think it is very necessary for the Government to study that even if such a necessity arises and the demand is there to start a medical college, we must see whether we have enough medical personnel to man such a college or do we have to demand enough qualified personnel from outside. So if we want such a college, I would rather say that this resolution is premature. I would suggest that we consider such a resolution a little later, and for the present, I would rather advise the Government to send at least five doctors to qualify for higher studies outside the State every year and when they return they will be able to impart medical education to our own students in this State and at such time, we may start a medical college of our own. With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
*Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to associate myself in this particular resolution. The spirit of this resolution is really acceptable. But I do not know how far it may be possible to implement it. So, I do not like to say whether I oppose or support it but I think this resolution may give an eye to the Government for looking into this matter at an appropriate time and not at this stage. With these few words, I resume my seat.
Mr. Chairman : Now, I would request the Minister-in-charge of Health to reply.
*Shri S.K. Marak (Minister, Health) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am really grateful to the mover of this resolution who has brought this subject for discussion in this House. There cannot be two opinions about the need for having a medical college in this State.
Hon. Members might recall that in this very House we had already discussed a number of things about the need for opening a Medical College in view of the shortage of seats made available to the State of Meghalaya in various Medical Colleges. Our students who were willing to join the Medical Colleges in the past could not do so for want of seats in these Colleges. Mr. Chairman, Sir, right from the inception of this State of Meghalaya I had the occasion to look after this very very important institution and as far back as 1970, there was a heavy talk and pressure both from the public and the leaders as well in this House for having one such institution in our State. Unfortunately, our time had passed at that time, when as far back as 1970, the team came to locate a suitable place for setting up of a Medical College in this whole North Eastern Region. It was the time to find out a place for such a Medical College and then ultimately they had selected Imphal to be the place for locating a Medical College. At that time, the State was in its infant stage when it came into being in April, 1970. The decision to locate a Medical College in Imphal was taken much earlier by that Committee. It was the experience of the Committee to meet the need of students who are willing to go to the Medical Colleges every year and we will find that about 100 applicants during each session are coming forward. And almost every day I have to receive students in my Chamber or in my residence. Now, there is one thing which makes these students go for medical study. By looking around we will find the best institutions and schools are located here in Shillong. In those days when Assam was still there and Meghalaya was still part of Assam, students used to compete with others in order to get a seat in the Medical Colleges. It was by merit that they could join these Medical Colleges. If you look at the results of their competitive examination you will find that our students used to secure the first ten positions always and it is a fact that the students who read here in Shillong used to get a better chance because they had to compete both in written and oral examinations. They used to get a chance in those days, but now with the creation of the State of Meghalaya, that chance is gone. Now what more allotment was given to this State? It is that much only that we get. I had the occasion to write to my counterpart in Assam and also to the Government of India in the Union Ministry of Health to increase the number of seats for our State. It is a fact that we are not getting seats to meet the demand of our students. As I have stated earlier, we have about 100 applicants or the minimum 60 qualifying seats every year. Now for the tribals the minimum marks are 45 per cent and then there is no maximum limit of marks. But our tribal boys and girls particularly from Shillong used to secure marks even upto 70 or 77 per cent. So what we do is - while selecting candidates, we have to go by merit and it is a fact that sometimes seats get exhausted when we come down to 50 per cent and those candidates who get below 50 per cent have to be put in the waiting list. Really there are so many students and so many qualifying boys and girls and naturally we will have to increase the number of seats to meet their demand. Now I will give the break-up. At present we have got the following seats :-
Imphal - 5, Assam - 9, or 10 and Government of India - 4 or 5. The total is 20 or sometimes 18. Now, I had also written to West Bengal Government and I had also met the Health Minister, who said that he would allot some more seats this year. They will be in a position to give us more seats this year. Some hon. Members have pointed out that the number of seats has been reduced by the Government of Assam. That is not actually a fact. Some years ago we have Pre-Medical classes also but now they have abolished them. Naturally the seats meant for Pre-Medical Classes have to be cancelled and it is not a fact that they have reduced the number of seats. But then they have abolished this Pre-Medical Class.
Now, I will give the break-up. We have the total number of students reading now in these Medical Colleges 106 from Meghalaya. In 1972-73 we have 25, in 1973-74 it is not made available. In 1974-75 we have 21 and then in 1975-76 we have 21, and in 1976-77 we have 21 and now in 1977-78 we have 18. I am trying to get some more seats in West Bengal. Recently I met the representative from the Indian Medical Council and I have told him about our difficulties and he assured that from next year we would get some more seats in some of the Medical colleges. Some hon. Members made a mention that our boys and girls do not want to go elsewhere. In this way I would just point out that until and unless our boys and girls go out and get mixed up with other students of other States, I do not think we can broaden our outlook. It is always necessary to send our boys and girls also to go out and mix with other people. Now I am trying to get some more seats in Chandigarh, Delhi, Bombay etc. Then uptil today, the Government of India has not got seats. I can understand the difficulties of the parents also. They are not able or cannot afford to send their sons and daughters for study in other States. We from our State are also trying to make some stipends available every year to some students who want to study in those places and their parents have to sign a bond for their sons and daughters that they would work and serve in the interior of Meghalaya for not less than two or three years.
Now, Mr. Chairman, Sir, many members have expressed about the lack of health care facilities in the rural areas. I being in this department and having managed this department for 7 years know that we really need to give health care to the rural people. We have to produce many doctors, nurses, compounders and pharmacists. Unfortunately in spite of our best efforts nothing much could be achieved. In certain cases of course the achievement is little encouraging. When I assumed office as Minister of Health there were only 5 M.B.B.S. in Garo Hills but the number has increased. I do not actually know the number. I think it exceeded 40. The progress that we achieved for the first seven years is not discouraging. What we wanted now is not so much of doctors but compounders to man dispensaries. We have been trying to open one pharmacists school but unfortunately for want of personnel and for want of qualified medical personnel it could not be opened. We have appointed two persons but they have backed out. Let other people from other States come to work here as they are afraid to go down to Tura. Some people have wrong motion about the entire State of Meghalaya. Some of them know that it is a home of malaria, kala-azar and some of them think it is a home of elephants, beasts, etc. So they are terribly afraid. These are the practical difficulties but if we can make wide publicity then definitely they will come forward to help us. Now in spite of our best efforts we have not been able to get a man to run a school at Tura. I think in the near future we will have one and so we are not abandoning it. We are making several attempts but it will take time to get a man. Mr. Chairman, Sir, let me give to the hon. members certain information which will benefit them. According to the norm, for every 1,500 people we need one doctor. On that basis if it is calculated we need in Meghalaya today 666 doctors i.e. basic doctors and 250 specialists in various departments. At present there are only 140 registered medical practitioners in the State and out of 103 basic doctors only 8 specialists belong to this area, and about 80 of them are serving in the Government. We have all the infrastructure for starting a medical college but the only constraint is lack of resources. As pointed out earlier there had been loud thinking for opening of such a college but then I am not sure about that. We have all the infrastructure available here in Shillong, but I am told that the bed strength should not be less than 500. We have many Hospitals like the Ganesh Das Hospital, Civil Hospital, Khasi-Jaintia Presbyterian Hospitals, Nazareth Hospital and some others and that infrastructure is available readily. But perhaps the most important thing is the resources. I do not think we can find resources to have a medical college. I may tell that I am not a medical man but I am told that it is extremely difficult to open a medical college as it requires large amount of money and equipments to make it perfect and good. I remember when on the first day the medical college at Imphal was opened a man from Imphal asked me to get a seat for his son. I was surprised to know that he being a man from Imphal could not get a seat at all. The thing is that there is only one dead body in the whole medical college and it is impossible with one dead body for the whole students. You can well imagine how long a student will learn about dissection and operation etc. With great difficulty we have appointed our man who happened to be the D.H.S. to run the show there as the Principal of the College. I am hoping with this rate we may increase the number of students in the colleges. Well, Mr. Chairman, Sir, I quote on this for many minutes, more than an hour. But I do not want to consume much time as you all know the need for it. You all appreciate it and from the speeches made by the hon. members I can say that there is not a single M.L.A. who opposes it and all have supported it wholeheartedly and sincerely. All of us know that in future if we really want to give medical care facilities to the children of the rural population and have good hospitals and dispensaries we will have to think faster than we have done in the past. But one thing is that resources will have to be found. We have a university, I do not know whether this University is contemplating to open a medical college. I hope in future there will be faculties. We know that this University had catered to the needs of North Eastern States. There is a proposal for opening a faculty of Agriculture in Nagaland. So naturally I think the N.E.H.U. will spread the departments on the need base to various States. If Nagaland can have Agriculture College we can also go for something else. We will have a give and take policy. We may just persuade the N.E.H.U. or the Government of India to consider the question of having a faculty of medicines in Shillong. I am sure if you wholeheartedly and cordially move, we will be able to do something in the near future. But I am also not sure, some people would like to have State medical college, some would also like to have State medical college, some would also like to have regional medical college and some would like to get attached with the NEHU. Another thing which strikes my mind is that there is a ban the Government of India has given instruction to all the States not to go for any more medical colleges. The argument, perhaps, is that we have, in this country, a number of medical colleges; we have thousands and thousands of doctors. But then these are concentrated only in the towns and cities and they are not going to the interiors or rural areas. Unless and until we can persuade them, no doctors and nurses would go to the rural areas to cater to the needs of the general public. On that consideration, perhaps, the Government of India is having a re-thinking about opening of medical colleges. In 1971-72, when we were gheraoed in Jaipur by young doctors who surrounded the Conference, a challenge was thrown to them by the Army General who said "You, young doctors, if you want to accept the challenge meet me. I need more than 400 young doctors to go to Ladakh in some forward areas. But you must be physically fit and as strong as the soldiers. You must be prepared to do strenuous works like the soldiers. But, unfortunately, I think not one of them joined. Same is the case here. I would like to inform my friends and hon. members here that when any appointment is to be made they will say "Please, only in Shillong". You can appoint one for 5 days in Barapani or Laitlyngkot; but not in Siju or Shella or Mawkyrwat. These are the practical difficulties we are facing.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : On a point of information, Sir, since the Minister has referred to the reluctance of doctors to go to the rural areas, may I have some information as to what happened to the incentive scheme?
Shri Sandford K. Marak (Minister, Health etc.) : It is there. The non-practicing allowance, which was not admissible, has been given. I think I have given the information yesterday. That is the position. But then I would also say that we ourselves are responsible because, last time when I tried to send a few doctors to the interior somebody would say "Please do not put him there or at least not there. Then I will have to get a better place for him or that I will have to take the trouble to find for him a vacant place but not to that place. So, these are the pleas from the members and the colleagues. As such, the Department is placed in an awkward position when it has to revise transfer orders most of the time. But then I have to oblige my colleagues also. We are producing doctors no doubt and we are to produce more. But we also have to ask and request the young doctors to go to the interior. Of course, I understand the difficulties faced by the doctors in the rural areas. Nowadays, boys and girls are brought up in such an atmosphere that when they are fed up with the gramophone, they pick up a guitar; or when they are tired of the guitar they play the record player or they simply go out and drive in a scooter. These are the facilities given to modern boys and girls here. But once they go to the interior and if they do not have friends, scooter or vehicle, they get frustrated. I do not blame them. It is partly the responsibility of the Government to give them enough facilities. I have been trying to exercise my mind as to whether it would be possible to give to each doctor at least one jeep. But where are the resources. We have seen that when the doctor goes to the market places or the villages, it automatically becomes like a mobile dispensary. Whether he goes to church or market it automatically becomes a mobile dispensary. Whether we give them a jeep or a bus, it automatically becomes a semi-hospital or a dispensary. I think I should be guided by the House and by my colleagues to help improve funds or resources so that the services of these doctors can be utilised profitably in the interest of the society. There are friends who have brought so many resolutions and I am really grateful to them because I find the resolutions are quite acceptable. I am sure we do not have to pass such resolutions since there is a common need. Let us just take the need and so I would request the hon. members, since the need is one, that we should do without passing the resolution. We can just be sure of that. So I would request the hon. mover to kindly withdraw his resolution.
Mr. Chairman : So may I know the mind of the House?
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very grateful to the hon. members who have lent their support wholeheartedly to the resolution and I am also grateful to the Minister-in-charge who has given us a detailed statement about the difficulties experienced by the Government in giving medical aid to the people and also the steps taken by the Government to get seats for our boys and girls outside the State. But there is one particular mention by the Minister which is very common to all of us, and that is the attraction of the town. Most of the students come from the rural areas and when they come to Shillong to get training somewhere they never want to return to the rural areas. Therefore, I would suggest that before we allow the students who have signed the agreement - the students who have got training at Government expenses - at least there should be some formula to be made, a fixed formula or programme, that every doctor should go to the villages of the rural areas to man the dispensaries there by rotation. Therefore, anyone who joins the service he will know that when "my term in Mawkyrwat or Jowai is over, one day I shall be in the beautiful city of Shillong or at Barapani" near the beautiful lake. Therefore, taking into consideration all the difficulties experienced by the Government and also having full confidence in the statement of the Minister-in-charge that the Government is not sleeping over the matter, I withdraw my resolution.
(Mr. Deputy Speaker in the Chair)
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Let us come to Resolution No.2 to be moved by Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move my resolution that this House do resolve to urge upon the Chief Minister to advise the Governor to recommend the Government of India to immediately dissolve the Assembly and hold fresh election.
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Motion moved.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, why I move this resolution is because it is of the plain fact which I have experienced in the last M.P. election. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the first instance, I would like to remind this august House that the Congress Ministry which is at present in power in the State is not voted by the people. During the election in the year 1972, the Congress has secured only 19 seats in the House of 60. But later on, they applied many other tricks and thus now they are in power. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to state a few facts before this august House. Last time I remember very clearly during the time of the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, that she has always sent some of her representatives to our State to pressurize the A.P.H.L.C. to join the Congress party and with a threat to our Ministers because probably she knew about the affairs of all our Ministers and some of them have been pressurized to the extent that if they did not join the Congress Party they would be put into trouble and some of our Ministers who are very much weak and afraid of their misdeeds and corruption suddenly joined. They have even requested all of us to join the Congress Party but I am glad Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that some of our friends stayed firmly with their own understanding and principle. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring two instances to the notice of this august House today of what the Chief Minister has replied through question No.15 during the last Assembly session when I put this question before the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I put this question to the Chief Minister "Will the Chief Minister be pleased to state whether Ministers are allowed to take with them Government officers during election tour". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reply was "yes" Sir, this Congress Ministry I do not know is all out against the norms of election law which are prevailing in the country. Even the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was un-seated by the Allahabad High Court on two corrupt practices. But in our State the present Congress Government used to take all officers with them for the election campaign. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at that time, I was very much surprised to see that certain Congress Ministers came to my constituency with a bulk of officers of different Departments and they utilised the services of the B.D.O.s for issuing notices calling the people to attend the election campaign and the officers who attended the meeting are the Joint Director of Agriculture, the Additional Chief Engineer, P.W.D., and Executive Engineers, the Director of Soil Conservation and the Director of Health Services also was present where many promises were given to the people. The meeting was also attended by the Syiems, Sirdars and Headmen of all the areas. This meeting was held at Mawsynram Block Headquarter itself and I also was there because I am the M.L.A. from that area. I think it is my responsibility to attend such a big meeting.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may we know whether the hon. Member made any welcome address?
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : I did not do that Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Shri O.L. Nongtdu : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, can the hon. member explain the discussions in that meeting?
Mr. Deputy Speaker : Rules should not be imposed in this House only for fresh election.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas) : In what way the Congress Ministers, Government of India are corrupted? The member is a responsible member. This is too bad.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to Rule 275, I request all the members not to interrupt.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we did not interrupt but we are seeking clarification. And when he is pointing out to the judgment of the Allahabad High Court, what about Mawsynram court? (laughter)
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said it is a corruption because as I have stated earlier that no Minister should take with him Government officers for election campaign.
Shri S. N. Koch : But Mrs. Indira Gandhi is not a member of this House.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : I know that interruptions will come because they are afraid of their corrupt practices.
Shri E. Bareh (Minister, Supply) : It seems as if you are the only angel.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : I am not corrupt like you. Whenever we put questions about buildings at Jowai I B Compound you were not in a position to reply because of corrupt practices. Now, Sir, the second charge was that Mrs. Indira Gandhi had obtained the assistance of the U.P. Government officials to build rostrums from which she addressed election rallies. The officials had also arranged for loud speakers and electricity to feed them. But here in our State, the same corrupt practices were resorted to during the last elections similar to those which Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, was using.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a point of order it will be an injustice done to the ex-Prime Minister to speak against her in this House. So I would request you, Sir, to give your ruling.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : On a point of order. The resolution of the hon. member from Mawsynram reads 'this House do now resolve to urge upon the Chief Minister to advise the Governor to recommend to the Government of India to immediately dissolve the Assembly and hold fresh election. Upon whom the mover is urging now?
Prof. M.N. Majaw : May I point out Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that what the hon. member from Mawsynram is doing is quoting the ruling of the Allahabad High Court in order to justify his contention that there were similar practices here by this Government to utilise Government servants and officers in election campaigns. This is a corrupt practice as laid down in the judgment of the Allahabad High Court.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mrs. Indira Gandhi is not a member of this House nor anything done by her cannot affect the Ministry here or our administration. If there are such instances of corrupt practices done by our Ministry, the hon. Member can come forward before the House.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : When the tree is rotten, all the branches will die as this is an all-India party. He has only quoted the ruling of the Allahabad High Court.
Shri S. N. Koch : But the High Court ruling has been over-ruled by the Supreme Court. This is the highest court in the country that there were no such allegations against her.
Shri Akramozzaman : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am much interested to see that the hon. member from Mawsynram is quoting the ruling of the Allahabad High Court on corruption charge. He also said that our Ministers are also corrupt. So I think he challenged the validity of corruption charge when there is no election petition. So I take it that there was no corruption.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring a specific instance where the Chief Minister had replied to my question which I put in this House in the last session which is against the election law in which the Ministers took the bulk of Government officers with them. Do they not entice the voters in that area by promising to do many things for them. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would urge upon this august House to advise the Governor to dissolve this House immediately and hold fresh election and put the present ministry not the hands of the C.B.I. (A voice - We accept that). Sir, I think they have a right to reply to my resolution and I do not know why they want to interrupt me. Now before I resume my seat, I would once again urge upon this House to advise the Governor to recommend to the Central Government to immediately dissolve this House and hold fresh election and President's Rule also be imposed for a short period and also enquiry instituted by the C.B.I on the corrupt Ministers. Why I say so is because last time when I put a question to the Chief Minister that the C.B.I. should be asked to probe, the Chief Minister agreed but later he said there are certain rules to be followed. I do not understand why the present Congress Government is trying to prevent the C.B.I. So with these few words, I resume my seat.
*Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this resolution because of a number of reasons some of which have been narrated very graphically by the hon. Member from Mawsynram. But we may also quote the example of what happened in some other States of India where recently Assembly elections were held although those State Assemblies were such where the party in power held the over whelming majority. Now when the Central Government decided to dismiss those Governments or remove them and hold general elections, there was a move made by those States upto the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court vindicated the overall authority of the Union Government to order for fresh elections. One of the grounds given by the Union Government was that it was convinced that in those States, the Government did not enjoy support of the masses. Now in this State, we have a similar situation where this Government does not in any way similar hold the support of the masses and if we have elections tomorrow, I can speak if Khasi and Jaintia Hills, I do not think the Congress will get more than three seats and that too Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am being very generous to them. For the last 20 years, we fought for a hill State and got it because of what because of misrule of a particular Government which was the Congress Government. I had hoped that when I joined them for a brief spell on some kind of a flirtation, I have thought that I would be able to serve the people of my constituency better through the aegis of the ruling party. But Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I found that it was something like jumping from the frying pan into the fire and before I could be burnt and consumed by these nefarious activities of this Government, I quickly retrieved myself though I have singed some of my hairs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a very interesting resolution that the hon. member from Mawsynram has brought. Of course I would like to lay more emphasis on the holding of fresh elections immediately because we do not want a long spell of President's rule. We know what damage should be caused by certain vested and interested parties by having President's rule for a long time. Even then I consider a brief spell of one or two months when we will be free from the clutches of the octopus sucking the blood of our people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel it is quite justified to call for fresh elections and for the dissolution of this House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, only a few days ago we had an example of the callous and indifferent attitude of the Government toward the poor. I am referring to the proposal of releasing the volume of water from the Umiam dam and that was the matter which affected the poor people, (Laughter) they are laughing, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because they have got no feeling for the poor people-because they move around in luxury from morning till night. They are laughing because they are not concerned with the sufferings of the poor and they have got no feelings when they are snatching food from the mouths of those poor people by the release of mass volume of water from the Umiam dam and they shed only crocodile tears for the sufferings of those poor people. But, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yet I am trying as to how to help to solve the difficulties of those poor people of Ri Bhoi area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also very strongly urged upon the Government to stop the release of this volume of water and the Government decided not to do so. And Sir, that notices originated from the Government itself were an indication of an attitude of continued callousness towards the suffering of the poor. I, thereof, give this example other examples will be coming tomorrow or may be in other forms of discussions about which I do not want to give notice before hand. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I whole-heartedly recommend the resolution to this House.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose this resolution. Sir, while opposing this resolution I would like to submit that the hon. Mover himself has miserable failed to substantiate the ground which warrants the dissolution of this House. Sir, since he has no grounds to prove it, since the hon. Member has nothing to say and speak against the functioning of the Government the hon. Member dragged the ex-Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, to this House. He has very often quoted from the judgement of the Allahabad High Court but Sir, there is no meaning in dragging the person here in this House who cannot defend himself or herself. Sir, besides protests from our side, he has again and again mentioned the name of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and only because of that reason why this House should be dissolved. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, unfortunately the hon. Member also failed to observe the subsequent trend of that case and also the ruling of the Allahabad High Court. The highest court of the country, i.e., the Supreme Court subsequently found the decision of the Allahabad High Court as unfounded. So, the ruling was given in favour of Mrs. Gandhi. So, there is no ground for the hon. Member and more over the hon. Member himself said that the Government of Meghalaya is corrupt. And when the hon. Member was asked to cite a single example, if there is any, he immediately concluded his debate and resumed his seat. This shows that the working of this Government is as clear as pure water and there is not a single drop of unhygienic things in it, and it is substantiated by the mover himself by keeping quiet on that issue, on the charge of corruption. the hon. Member from Mawhati, Mr. M.N. Majaw, also failed to give sufficient reason for dissolving this House and he referred to the flood in the Ri Bhoi area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if there is flood then our Government here and we will try to protect it. Our Congress Government is strong enough to hold back such flood in Meghalaya. We are not afraid of it. Another ground shown is that as many as nine or ten Assemblies were dissolved by the Central Government when the Janata Government came to power and elections were held in those States and the Congress was rooted out. But the happenings in one State cannot affect the administration in other States. A man may like to eat sweets and others may like to eat sour things and some other persons may like other things. So also, just because the people of U.P. voted against the Congress Government, that does not mean that the people in other States also should vote against the Congress and forthwith the hon. Member conceded to the figure three and we can very easily add zero on the right hand of that three (Vices-mistakenly), and there is no power on earth to check it. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also coming to the very very important point, that is about the legal question and let us not take up what happened in U.P. or Rajasthan and other places. Let us come to the real point, whether this Government can exist or not and if it exists whether it has the legal sanction behind it or not. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I put a question that when the Constitution was amended extending the term of life of the House from five years to six years and when this House ratified that amendment, whether the hon. Mover was a party to that ratification and if the hon. Member can say that he opposed the ratification then I shall not speak even a single word against it.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : I did.
Shri S. N. Koch : So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to submit that this resolution has no force behind. Sir, despite our legal sanction we are ready to go to the people to seek a fresh mandate and we are not afraid to go to the people. So, Sir, despite our legal sanction we are ready to go to the people to seek a fresh mandate and we are not afraid to go to the people to seek a fresh mandate and we are not afraid to go to the people. So, Sir, the hon. Mover has miserably failed to show any such reason which might have cropped up between the dates of this have cropped up between the dates of this resolution and the extension of the term of this House and resolution and the extension of the term of this House and moreover there is not a single event like strike, agitation against our Government. So it shows that the people are happy and are getting more and more of what they really expected from this Government and it seems that the people want that this Ministry should remain further. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this resolution deserves immediate rejection because this resolution is politically motivated. The hon. Mover of this resolution knows that he cannot go to the people and seek fresh mandate from the people because he is afraid. So fro him the only safes place is here on the floor of this House, because here we cannot show our muscles, here we cannot use un-parliamentary words and hurl abuses for his failure to serve the people as a responsible Member. Therefore, he is taking this opportunity to utilise this safest place- I mean the most protected place. It is not the intention of the hon. Mover that we should immediately go to the people. He just wants to know what reaction will be there if he brings this resolution here in this House and not to go to the people. So, with these few observations, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I vehemently and strongly oppose this resolution.
Shri Jormanik Syiem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there was a practice that the Government continued until the new Government comes in. That used to be the practice but in recent times it appears that practice is no long appreciated by the people and therefore, in so many other States the Assemblies have been dissolved in order to get the mandate of the people for the new Government. This happened recently in several States. So it is only fair that at the time of election no particular party should have any undue advantage of taking the whole machinery of the Government to go on election campaign. That has been probably the wish of the present Central Government when they dissolved so many State legislatures and held fresh elections. I would say that this Government has been elected or say voted by the people in 1972. Since that time the people voted for a different party which was in power for over five years and a half. The present Government just changed their colour a year ago and they cannot say that they have got the legal right to represent the people. Because they have got no more right to say that they represent the people because they have changed their colour for their own.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : And what about those who have not changed their colour?
Shri Jormanik Syiem : I am referring to those people who have changed their colour. You might not have changed the colour. This is the Government that is ruling now in this State. It is the only fear that this House should be dissolved and a fair and fresh election should be held so that we will be on equal footing, and on the same equal footing we cannot fight against the people who have the advantage of the Government machinery at their back. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the resolution that has been tabled by the hon. Member from Mawsynram is very appropriate. It is only fir and proper that this House recommends to the Governor that this House be dissolved and a fresh election held or if fresh election cannot be held then let the President's Rule be there until fresh election is held.
*Shri M. Reidson Momin : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also would like to participate in the discussion of this resolution and while doing so I would like to point pout here that I do not find any reason to bring this resolution in this august House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the first place there has been no constitutional crisis nor has their been any law and order situation against this Government so that we will ask the Governor to dissolve this Assembly. Besides, I think the hon. Member who has moved this resolution is aware that the Constitution of India has been repealed and as such there is no question of recommending to the Governor to dissolve this Assembly at all. Now the main contention of the Mover is that this Government does not deserve to continue because in the coming election the Minister will use their official power. Now, Sir, I would like to point out here that if one is popular and if he has convinced the people, the people will certainly vote in favour of him. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all of us know that George Fernandes won the election even from inside the jail.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : And the Congress was defeated!
Shri M. Reidson Momin : So, it is the question of your popularity. If you feel that you do not deserve to continue because you have exhausted your term of office then you should resign, otherwise why you involve others. Another point is that it is nor essential that we should follow other States. Some other State Assemblies might have been dissolved or some other Assemblies might have recommended to the Governor to dissolve the Assemblies but here I donot find any reason at all to do so. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me say that they might be afraid of Ministers and might have thought that they may continue to hold office and influence the voters during the ensuing election. But Sir, when I am in the field for the last five years and when I have done something good to them then why should I be afraid in my area?
Shri Jackman Marak : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even on the last 20th October one meeting was held at Tura where indirectly Government officials were used for that purpose.
Shri M. Reidson Momin : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, which meeting? And for what purpose? If it is so then let him substantiate it. I demand it Sir? It is a lie. Simply talking won't do, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are returning to power in the next election - yes Sir, we are returning to power.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I raised a point of order during the course of the discussion. The hon. Member has used the word 'lies'. It is un-parliamentary and I request you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to examine that.
Shri M. Reidson Momin : It a faulty point.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am clear about it. Whether the member has withdrawn the word 'lies'.
Shri Williamson A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because the statement made by the member from Chokpot is not correct. If it is not proved, the proper word is 'lies'. I do not know whether the word 'lies' is un-parliamentary. Then the word should be replaced.
Shri M. Reidson Momin : It may be corrected. I withdraw the word 'lies' Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Before I resume my seat I strongly oppose this resolution and I would say that if somebody feels that this House should be dissolved then he should resign himself from this august House.
*Shri Plansing K. Marak : I would like also, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to participate in this resolution. In the very beginning I would like to say that the next General Election is coming soon. We have already got the mandate of the people and we are looking forward to the next general election. This House will have to be dissolved 45 days before the election. I do not know whether these 45 days will be happy days. I hope and I am sure that the people from this side will be coming back to this House. The people in general have confidence in the present Government, right from the Chief Minister, Forest Minister and Health Minister. The law and order situation is satisfactory. I do not know the reason why we should dissolve this House. I am happy and I know that the Minister could go to the field and have the confidence of the people. Therefore I oppose the resolution.
*Shri R. Mawsor : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to oppose this resolution. I do not know much about the other districts. During the last few years, the A.P.H.L.C. was in power and the Ministers at that time went on tour in the Nongstoin Subdivision in the Khasi Hills District. When they reached the site, they have to stop for three hours and inform the Executive Engineer to clear the road and open the gate. They asked the people why did they make this gate. They replied because you were not paying the compensation for the land and there were so many strikes. So, I told you the fact because I myself was there ate that time when the people from the West Khasi Hills District explained. If we have the power there is nothing wrong about it because the people from the Western side will welcome the new Congress Government. With these few words I oppose this resolution.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Sir, I stand to oppose the resolution of the hon. Member whom I like very much. Actually, Sir, this resolution started during our tour with the Estimates Committee's members in the room where we stayed at Bangalore, in which the hon. Member by that time who was in this side of the House had said "well Mr. Pohshna I think, I will move this resolution". That was six months back (Laughter)
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was wrong, I wan not in that side of the House.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : He was on this side, I do not mean his party. Sir, when I look at the way he moves and also at the gesture of his moving, I had realised the seriousness of the resolution he has moved but I doubt whether this resolution has come just for the resolution's sake or out of conviction. This very resolution was in the list of business of last session when the hon. Member was still in the House. Is it out of conviction?
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : Out of conviction Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : I am glad the it is out of conviction and if it is our of conviction, he should not be there to move this resolution in this House. Sir, he has moved the resolution with a view to urge the Chief Minister to advise the Government of India. I do not think this wording is an expression of opposition but this wording is to express the confidence on the Chief Minister (Laughter). "to urge upon the Chief Minister to advise the Governor to recommend to the Government of India to immediately dissolve this Assembly and to hold fresh elections". But he is still there himself. He will never resign alone, I know that (Laughter). Is it a conviction? I do not see that there is any conviction in this resolution. Therefore, it is not use to us. He has referred to a big public meeting in Mawsynram. Yes, I am glad that our Congress Minister had been given a warm welcome at Mawsynram where a huge gathering was there and I can imagine that the hon. member from Mawsynram was trembling to find that the Congress Minister was so powerful that such a great public reception was given to him. (Laughter)
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : I did not tremble.
Shri H.E. Pohshna : Therefore, Sir, I like his resolution. Sir, referring to the speech of Mr. Majaw, the Member who ahs supported this resolution he appears to be in the drowning ocean before the water is flooded. He dreamt that he was in bed and was already drown . He said."I know for a fact that the Government has made an assurance that there will be nor release of water to-night" but he still doubts about it. The Red Sea is coming and he prays for a miracle to enable him to cross the Red Sea. (Loud Laughter). Well, Sir, I would request the Mr. Majaw, my best friend, who happened to be a Congress Member-he may talk against the Congress Party whatever he likes, but he was on this side as a Congress Member. A mention has been made about floor crossing among the Khasis and Jaintias, but I do not know much about he Garos, divorce is a custom (Laughter). It is like changing a dress. Sometimes wearing a shirt and sometimes wearing a black coat over a shirt. In the morning with a black coat, in the evening, a white coat and at night a brown or a yellowish black coat. Crossing this floor or that floor, changing this colour to that colour, that has been the main charge of the hon. m ember form Mylliem when he said that this party overnight had changed the colour what about the changing of colour of the hair? I doubt that Mr. Majaw, the hon. Member from Mawhati will support that idea because he also has been crossing from here to here, there to there (Loud laughter). The mover while initiating this resolution for the dissolution of the Assembly, has blamed the Members for the crossing from this side to that side. It is a practice of the Opposition members to lay this kind of blame. When he can do anything good for the people he will say, "I am your hon. Member who did this". But when he cannot do good for this people, he held the Congress Government responsible for that. Therefore, I do not see that there is any ground to support this resolution. Example is better than precept. I do not understand what kind of conviction as to dissolve the Assembly whereas, the Member himself is happy to say I am still here (Laughter). Sir, some hon. Members who have supported this resolution have been trying to become political prophets. They said "here in Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, the Congress Party will not return, only three M.L.As may return". I do not know how they dared to predict this. Who knows, a zero may be added after this figure three to make it thirty or so. I am not a political prophet (Loud laughter) but I know one thing and that is I have realised what kind of conviction the hon. Members has. There has been a fighting in the District Council now. All talked against the Congress but at the same time, the A.P.H.L.C. fights against the H.S.P.D.P. Some times Mr. so and so was the C.E.M., the next week, Mr. so and so was the C.E.M. a part from that, there has been floor crossing that is the conviction of the mover of this resolution? (Laughter). Therefore, Sir, something is there. There is fight on this side and that side. I am not a political prophet and I know that Mr. Marbaniang is a strong candidate. I cannot also say whether there will be a stronger candidate then him in Mawsynram. Again Sir, while talking about dissolution and taking about recommendation for dissolution he has made much mention about corruption I do not know what to say on this because he has not mentioned about any specific kind of corruption anywhere and I do not expect that he has got a corrupt mind because he is a gentleman. I do not think it is right just to say a corrupt Government, corrupt administration and corruption here and there without specific instances. Some are afraid of the water to be released from the Barapani Dam. This is a small dam, but a bigger dam is going to be released soon, the dam of public judgement which we should be afraid of. Therefore I do request all hon. members who have made a challenge to the ruling party to note that some of you may return and we shall be happy if some of you will return. I know the strength of the A.P.H.L.C. Party. They have got thousands of votes last time and they have underestimated our strength but they have been defeated in the M.P. election. We do not underestimate their strength, there leadership is quite good and their party is good. They have still underestimated the Ruling Party even now but Sir, with due respect to the Mover of the resolution who has given many many grounds which are not sufficient grounds, I say he will be caught unaware. I would request him to withdraw his resolution. Why I say this because the dissolution will come in its own time whether you want it or not. It will come and it will come very soon. The date to be fixed for filing of nomination papers and the date for scrutiny and withdrawal for the net election will come no doubt in its own time. Therefore it is of no use talking of dissolution of the Assembly, and I request Mr. M.N. Majaw not to be much anticipatory of anything that has not yet come now. (laughter) Though here it is not a point of order, Sir and therefore, I would request the hon. Member who has moved the resolution that since last time also this resolution had appeared in the list of resolutions, but some-how or other due to shortage of time it was not moved and then the hon. Member who had not moved was expected during this period of three or not four months to do something that will prove his real conviction. But as he is still in this House he may kindly withdraw his resolution. With these few words I strongly oppose the resolution.
*Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I find myself in a difficult position whether to support the resolution or not or to oppose because this resolution reads - "This House do now resolve to urge upon the Chief Minister to advise the Governor and to recommend to the Government of India to immediately dissolve the Assembly and hold fresh election'. Sir, it seems that it is the resolution for the Chief Minister and as such, I do not know in which way we will have to take part in this particular resolution. Any how, I will not take much time of the House. Both sides say something about water. From this side they say Barapani Dam and from the other side also they say water and it may be from the other side they say Red Sea according to me. Just now, the hon. Member has said something about the flow of water from the dam and so according to my humble understanding this resolution is only to urge upon the Chief Minister and since both sides have thought this to be the preparing time for the forth-coming election and thinking about election all of them are conscious as the election is coming soon. I think it will be quite a good gesture if the Chief Minister will accept the resolution. With these few words I resume my seat.
*Shri Akramozzaman : Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my friends from this side have already expressed their own opinion and also given their grounds for which this resolution cannot be accepted rather that it should be opposed. I also oppose this resolution. The continuation of this Assembly is up to 6 years. It is accordance with the amendment to the Constitution which is known as the 42nd Amendment and so long as this Amendment is valid and is not amended otherwise, I believe that every Indian should abide by it and cannot go against it. So the question of dissolution of this Assembly does not arise now. It is a fact that this 42nd Amendment was ratified by this House and I think every-body was there to express his opinion and there was no opposition that the present term should be extended by one year. That means it should be 6 years. Therefore, the question of dissolution of this Assembly does not arise at all no. Examples have been cited about the 9 States which were dissolved and there the opinion differs and whether the dissolution was according to the Constitution or not, was a matter of dispute in the whole of India. So it is a fact that if somebody gets the power, he is trying to utilise it whereas at the same time he forgets to act according to what he has promised. Another example may be put forward. Rae Bareilli Constituency where Mrs. Gandhi was defeated, in the last M.P. election where the Congress has lost confidence and where the Congress candidate could not return and as a result of the last M.P. election, the Assembly was dissolved. The ground for the dissolution of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly was that the Congress has lost confidence and the Congress candidate did not return in the last M.P. election but was defeated in that election. So the Uttar Pradesh Assembly should be dissolved and the candidate has a party to that because he was a Member of the Cabinet. So when the Assembly election has been brought in the picture it would have been better that some members should have resigned on the same ground and analogy put forward by them. Some times it reminds me of a story of the fable. This type of common story is regarding the wolf and the lamb and I think everybody knows it. The thing is this that one day a lamb was just taking water and the wolf also came to the stream and he was taking water upstream. When he saw the lamb he had already desired to kill it and eat his flesh. So he found out an excuse and said to the lamb why he made pollution of the water. Then the lamb replied that he was in the upstream and he himself was in the downstream. Then the wolf said that must have been a lamb's father. He jumped upon the lamb and killed it. This same logic has been applied here to the dissolution of the 9 State Assemblies. If the M.P. has returned from the constituency after the result of the election and if he would resign I would think yes, they are true. So Sir, if we take this thing, what is the result when there was a confusion and there was a confusion and there was a charge because some of our friends had joined the Congress. There was a charge from the person who did not join the Congress that the Congress has no right to rule Meghalaya and fortunately for both sides there was a chance in the last M.P. election, where it has been found that the Congress got overwhelming majority over the other party or individual to rule Meghalaya. So the question of the mandate of the people does not arise now as it has been proved that the Congress still has the confidence to rule this State. Sometimes fashion changes in some countries and when fashion changes sometimes a coat became longer and the shirt is shorter and so also it has become a fashion to blame the Congress. But so many actions were taken and followed. I think they are following the Congress policy for what they are doing now. The person who is blaming the Congress for the flood, of course, for our friend from Mawhati, I should say, that it is his failure to convince the Government of Meghalaya to do something. For that reason I think, not to speak of the Government, any individual cannot go against his conviction when he is convinced that these are the difficulties and these are the things. If I shall make other person convinced that these are the difficulties and these are the things the perpetual difficulty (At this stage the Deputy Speaker left the Chamber and Shri H. Hadem occupied the Chair) shall continue and I believe that the Government of Meghalaya shall do these things. I remember the flood of 1974 in Garo Hill. The Government may have different name but the leadership is the same. Capt. W.A. Sangma was running the administration and also today. What was his capability to help the people and what was his promptness to take action because it was the cause that could convince the Government or the leadership that relief or help is required. I believe Mr. Majaw could not convince and as he could not convince, his failure as a representative of his constituency, is not the failure of the Government. So this is also a part of corruption and if I wish to bring the same charge as that of the lamb and the wolf I think it will not be good for us. So I would point out that when the mover of the resolution was putting the argument a point was raised on the decision made by the Allahabad High Court about the corrupt practices. Of course that should not have been brought here because the person concerned is not a member of this House. He cannot make a charge against that person. There was a corrupt practice for that reason. There was an election petition field if there was corruption. I think in the constituency of which he is also the voter, he had the right to challenge the election, to prove that the Congress has resorted to corruption. Ultimately when corruption is proved then a question lies with whom? It would have been better for him to make the Congress candidate returned and then file the case against him and prove to the world that the Congress candidate is corrupt. Neither he could substantiate his charge inside or outside. So I believe the question of corruption does not arise at all. It is only a thinking, the leadership is the same and there is a saying that the man sees the world according to his eyes. With these words I feel that there is no reason to accept this resolution and as such I oppose it. Mr. Chairman : Another hon. member, Mr. Nongtdu.
Shri O.L. Nongtdu : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose the resolution moved by hon. Member from Mawsynram mainly on the two points raised by the other side. The first lost point is that they said that the Congress as a ruling party has the confidence of the people. I would like to point out here the fact that very recently during the last Parliamentary Election there were 4 candidates who contested the election and the result clearly indicated that the Congress as a party, in spite of double faces and double games played by a few unfortunate leaders of the party still the Congress got the majority of votes in the State in comparison with the three parties. This clearly shows that the people are on this side. Another point is that the resolution, as stated by the hon. member from Nongtalang, shows that the mover himself still has confidence in the Chief Minister to advise the Governor or the Central Government. I am very glad for that, but, on the other hand, it is very sad that the hon. Member from Mylliem has suggested for President's Rule. I say, Sir, if any responsible member of this House or for that matter any responsible Indian citizen, who believes in democracy - the very fundamental and basic principle to rule the people, by the people and for the people, is a matter of grave concern and it is a matter of shame to put forward such a suggestion. It shows that such a suggestion comes from a person who lacks the confidence in himself and in the people. I appreciate a part of the resolution for fresh elections. I agree also to go to the people and to get their mandate. But, Sir, I am very much against the suggestion for President's Rule in our State where there is no constitutional crisis at all and where the Government and the ruling party are still commanding the absolute majority inside and outside the House. With these few words, Sir, I oppose the resolution.
*Shri D.N. Joshi :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to oppose this resolution brought by my friend from the opposite side. He has said that we should adopt this resolution for dissolutions, to recommend to the Government of India and he has put forward his grounds for justifying the dissolution of the Assembly. He has utterly failed to give any ground which may be called enable for holding water. Sir he has contended that the continuation of the Assembly is unjustified in that some of the members have crossed floor or changed their colour. Sir, I believe that crossing of floor spiritually may have some other meaning but here I find that the mover of the resolution has crossed the floor from that side to that side. Literally, that is also crossing the floor and changing sides in our democracy is not an illegal act. In parliamentary democracy here India, it is very much admitted.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : On a point of information, Sir, I have never crossed the floor.
Shri D.N. Joshi : I only mean literally. Everybody knows that he is very much of the House because he enjoys the confidence of the people who have selected him and that is why he and we are here. There is no agitation whatsoever among the public in our State for the dissolution of the Assembly or for asking the members, whom they have elected, to resign. There is no such agitation. There is no law and order situation created that warrants dissolution of the Assembly. There is perfect tranquility in the State; the people are happy and they are very happy under the Congress rule. Of course, in the previous year when there was no Congress rule in the State, we have had occasions to see certain agitations here and there like processions. But the moment the Congress Government was installed in the State, perfect peace and amity prevailed. (Interruption) Sir, again only because in some of the States of our country elections were held and the Congress Party was reduced to a minority and some other party was installed in the Government, it does not mean that in our State of Meghalaya the Congress lost the confidence of the people; and the contention or the hope of the Opposition members that in case fresh elections would be held the Congress will be route here also, is just a misnomer or just a figment of the imagination which is not in keeping with reality because everybody knows during the last Lok Sabha election, it is still fresh in the minds of Meghalaya, the Congress candidate came up with a thumping majority and here in Khasi Hills it was predicted that he would not get more than 3 Constituencies -hardly 3 Constituencies in Khasi- Jaintia Hills. Here also the election results amply proved that the people in Khasi Hills have not ignored the Congress because more than 36 per cent or 37 per cent of the population here in our State voted for the Congress.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : May I point out that the Cantonment Constituency has disappeared?
Shri D.N. Joshi : It has become a bigger constituency and I am much hopeful that the people will elect the Congress candidate. I am confident enough that the hon. Member from Mawhati Constituency in his dreaming flood which was sweeping him is not aware that the Cantonment constituency has been amalgamated and he will not dare come to Mawprem to contest in the election.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : No, I can accept the challenge.
Shri D.N. Joshi : I will take his challenge (Laughter) Sir, the hon. friend from Mylliem has contended that there should be President's rule and that the Assembly should be dissolved (A Voice- we welcome it). I do not know why the hon. members from Mylliem and Mawsynram, as representatives of the people who are to uphold democracy and democratic principles want President's rule which is not rule of the people, by the people and for the people through their elected representatives. Sir, we know and we have got instances in different States in the country where President's rule is imposed. A long spell of that administration persists. Is there any guarantee, Sir, if President's rule comes to Meghalaya, there will be fresh elections immediately. Can the hon. member give us guarantee that if President's rule is imposed, fresh elections should be ordered. We do not know the minds of the party at the Centre. We cannot ignore the fact that in Mizoram where President's rule is still there, no fresh election has been ordered there. So I am afraid that the members who have advocated for President's rule have something in their minds which I believe is not for the good for the people. So I cannot conceive of the idea given by the hon. Member who is the elected representatives of the people pleading for President's rule in a State where peace and tranquility were brought about by the good offices of our Ministers and the party in power. So at any rate election will come and it will come in normal course. Sir, we are here and we were elected for five years. But by a majority of opinion, the Constitution of India was amended and the life of the members of the Assembly was raised from five to six years. The 42nd Constitution (Amendment) Act has not been amended yet and that particular Act is not amended, we will be very much till here in the Assembly and the dissolution of the Assembly will take place in normal course, under the provision of the Constitution the other for this resolution will be issued before 45 days from the actual date of the election. The Governor will recommend to the Government of India at that time and not before that. After all the 42nd Constitution (Amendment) Act which empowers the Governor to recommend dissolution of the Assembly is not amended, there is no point at this juncture to recommend to the Government of India for dissolution of the Assembly. The period of six years is going to be completed and the House will automatically be dissolved in course of a few months, say, two or three months from now. I do not know why our friends are in haste in bringing this resolution. The mover of the resolution has alleged that our Ministers when they visited their constituencies for attending election meetings have got receptions in different places and that proves that the members and Ministers are beyond doubt very popular and I find that those people are very popular. In order to feel the minds of the people of the various constituencies whether they are still with the Congress Ministry and the Congress Government, I believe this resolution will not fulfill the purpose of the people to say whether they will welcome the dissolution or not. I am confident enough, Sir, that the reaction of the people will be just the opposite to what he is thinking of. Therefore, Sir, judging from all points he has put forward, I am of the confirmed opinion that the continuation of this Assembly till it reaches its due time should be there. So I strongly oppose this resolution with an appeal to fellow members to reject this resolution.
*Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) : Mr. Chairman, Sir, I may be allowed to say a few words. Whether there is a resolution or no resolution for the dissolution of the Assembly, nobody will wait for the dissolution. The dissolution will come by itself. But from the fact that there is no sign from the Governor or from any other authority for dissolution, therefore there was no move in this respect. Well Mr. Chairman, Sir, the resolution should have been supported had there been good grounds for it. As I said, the grounds are not feasible.
Shri K.M. Roy Marbaniang : He is replying to my resolution.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) : I am also participating in the discussion. The only argument put forward by various members, according to me, has no justification whatsoever for supporting this resolution. The first ground raised by the hon. member from Mawsynram was that the Congress Ministry was not voted by the people. But Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to remind him that some time in November, 1976 after giving weight and due consideration for the benefit of the people, for the sake of unity, how best we can preserve the identity of the people, we thought as responsible leaders that we should join the national party, that is, the Congress party. It is not because of the threat. He has mentioned that because we are corrupt, for that reason we joined the Congress Party. I must tell this august House, Sir, that it is not that and I will tell the House from the bottom of my heart not because of power that we have joined the Congress, but we want to serve our beloved people and we want to see that the danger should not sway our beloved State and because of this, through experience, we have jointed the Congress Party. I have no doubt the people have realised this fact. During the last parliamentary election, the people were told that because of corruption, we have joined the Congress. I remember in a number of meetings while listening to the speakers of the other sides, the charge was that we joined the Congress through the backdoor and because of money. We again faced the accusation of getting money, and because of corruption, we are to go to jail. In order to win the election, they tried to fool the people telling them something which is false. I do not think this is good. This will not help democracy and the Ste. In the last parliamentary election, there was a propaganda to the effect that if the people vote for the Congress Party, they will become U Dkhar. I would earnestly appeal to each and every member to fight the election in all fairness. So in spite of all these, I am glad to remind the House once again that the Congress Party has won at least one seat in the last parliamentary election. Of course in Shillong constituency because of the fact that another candidate belonging to the HSPDP had won the election, but I am glad that the Congress Party secured second position. Taking all these factors into consideration, we can claim that the people still have confidence in the Congress party under the leadership of Captain Sangma as to how best to project the identity of the hill people. Mr. Chairman, Sir, while moving the resolution, the hon. member from Mawsynram mentioned about the judgement of the Allahabad High Court. Though I am not an advocate, but from my little experience, to quote such things, I think is a serious act of contempt of the Court. Mr. K.M. Roy Marbaniang has rightly mentioned that the judgement of the High Court which nullified the election of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was rejected by the Supreme Court. I would like to appeal through this House, to Mrs. Indira Gandhi, ex-Prime Minister, that she should not take stock of what stated in this august House and I would also appeal, through you, to the Supreme Court not to take stock of this misunderstanding of the situation. Lastly Mr. Chairman, Sir, mention has been made about construction of a house by the members of this House. I do not know this might have come from one of the hon. members from Jaintia Hills. Here I would say, Mr. Chairman, Sir, that each and everyone of us need at least one house to live in. Why should there be a grudge. Mr. Chairman, Sir, there was mention made by the hon. member from Mawhati in which he said recently that a number of Assemblies have been dissolved and under what circumstances the present Janata Government considered the dissolution of those Assemblies. It was on moral consideration for the parliamentary election that the people of different areas and States have proved that they lack confidence in the Congress leadership. So, if they find that confidence in the Congress leadership. So, if they find that there is lack of confidence in the leadership of the Congress Government, then in that case dissolution should take place to dissolve this Assembly. In case he cannot apply his energy here in our State because the people have proved to the hilt that they have confidence in the leadership of the Congress Government here, I would earnestly appeal to him to at least have patience for dissolution. So with these words I also feel that this resolution should be rejected.
*Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am very happy that this resolution has been brought to this House because there are grounds for bringing such a resolution for dissolution of the Assembly. I have been asked to advise the Governor to recommend to the President of India to dissolve this Assembly. In the first instance, I would like, through you Sir, to sincerely examine whether there are sufficient grounds for advising the Governor and through him the President to dissolve this Assembly. I would be very happy if today the mover and supporters convince the House justifying the dissolution of the Assembly. Well the only argument put forward was the present Congress Government has not come to power in 1972 General Elections. Thereby the mover of the resolution wanted to not say that the merger of the APHLC with the Congress is not approved by the people. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am not referring to what the Supreme Court had decided. I submit to the order of the Supreme Court. But I am talking only in the context of the people's confidence in the present Government, that in spite of that definite issue in Garo Hills in Tura constituency, the Congress candidate was elected to the Lok Sabha. In Khasi and Jaintia Hills, though we lost to the candidate belonging to the H.S.P.D.P., but we defeated the candidate set up by the A.P.H.L.C. Therefore, it will be clear Mr. Chairman, Sir, that we have obtained the mandate of the people because the H.S.P.D.P. has not brought this question of merger before the electorate. It is only my friends who decided to continue in the A.P.H.L.C. who have brought the issue. Therefore, on that ground also, there is no justification for dissolution of the Assembly. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is always easy to blame any Government to be a corrupt Government. But unless and until corruption is proved beyond doubt not to speak of the Government as a whole, but even against a person that charge will be meaningless. But he must be very frank. Mr. Chairman, Sir, that we tried to run a clean administration and we tried also, to the extent possible to maintain an efficient administration. My friends in the opposite who had occasion to work with me for more than five years and a half know me very well and if they can cite instances against me, I am prepared to face that charge. But it is unfortunate that general allegations do not carry any weight. I will just cite an example about the Assam Government. There has been a lot of allegations of corruption and representations were sent to the Government of Assam, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and they have asked the dismissal of the Government and dissolution of the Assembly. When the Prime Minister visited Shillong, while talking to Press people, a pointed question was put about the corruption of the Government of Assam. What was the reply - yes, there is corruption. Only because of the charge of corruption, each allegation has got to be examined. That is the procedure, Sir. But to justify one's own desire, if anybody brings baseless allegations and to come to the conclusion (At this stage, the Speaker took the Chair) that the present Ministry is a corrupt Ministry and a corrupt Government, I do not think anybody be convinced by that. Therefore, I am sorry that I cannot accept this resolution.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, about elections, I say the elections will come in due course. You know well, Sir, it is this House which has unanimously rectified the 42nd Constitution Amendment bill in which the term of the Assembly and the Parliament has been extended from five to six years and it has not been amended as yet. Therefore, even from the point of view of the duration of the term also, there is no justification to recommend the dissolution. We shall be going to the poll shortly. But in this connection also, I believe the leaders of the political parties had discussion with the Chief Election Commissioner who visited Shillong recently. We must be able to tell or advise the Election Commission which particular month will be suitable for the people, convenient to the people, so that they can, without handicap, without any hindrance, go in big numbers and elect their representatives. I think there can be no difference of opinion about it. We do not want to be elected by a handful of people. We would like every voter to come and vote so that there will be a fair chance for every-body to be elected by the electorate. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think this is the forum for me to say how many candidates will return in the next election, as if we know the minds of the people and if at all somebody has made a thorough study and assessment, I think he must do it comprehensively. The hon. Member from Mawhati has said that as far as Khasi and Jaintia Hills is concerned there will be only three. I do not know why he has not studied about Garo Hills. Why his observation is confined to only tow districts. Let us be realistic. If you are convinced on proper assessment, speak out, do not go half way.
A charge was made while referring to my reply to questions. I have got the instructions from the Government of India that while the Ministers are on tour either private or official or any other purpose, they can take minimum number of officials with them. But if it is election tour, they will not be allowed to participate in the election campaign. There is a strict instruction regarding this matter. But I can assure the hon. Members, through you, Sir, that we shall not misuse the position that we are holding. I have had the occasion in the past and I never used official car. Even if my P.S. accompanied me, I kept him at my headquarters at Tura. I alone went to the election campaign. I do not want to put him in an embarrassing position. I believe in the fair election free from any corruption. Recently, we had a talk on the subject. I am very happy the leaders of that group also joined the discussion. There is a Code of Conduct issued by the Election Commission. Let us adhere to that Code of Conduct and allow the people to cast their votes free from any fear. Let us give them a free hand to exercise their franchise. Let us wait till the elections take place, and let us wait for the results. Let the party chosen by the people come to this House and take up the administration for the next term. Therefore, I would earnestly request the mover to kindly withdraw the resolution.
Mr. Speaker : I think before you speak a few words may I take leave of the House that we take up others matter as soon as we have disposed of this resolution. (Voices- Yes, Yes)
Shri K.M. Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have heard the reply of the Chief Minister to my resolution, but I am very much convinced that unless and until we dissolve this Assembly we will not have a fair and free election as it has occurred in the past. I do not think they will do something better in the future. Somebody is also speaking against the President's rule, as far as I remember that in many States during the regime of the Congress Government President's Rule was imposed', even in those States where the M.L.As. have got the majority like Tamil Nadu President's Rule was imposed and in many other States also just because they are not Congress. So, I am not convinced by the reply of the Chief Minister that we will have a fair election because I had experienced in the past during the elections I don't believe that present Congress interruption) Government will conduct a fair election, if they are in power.
That is why Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will stick to my resolution that this House be dissolved and President's Rule imposed before we have a fresh election. for one or two months.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I am sorry I cannot, except the resolution as the hon. Member cannot convince that there is constitutional breakdown in the Government, But if the hon. Members of the House would like to cease to be members of the House I will give them the liberty to do so.
Mr. Speaker : That is a different issue. Since the hon. Member does not want to withdraw his resolution, I put the questions before the House. The question is that this House do not resolve to urge upon the Chief Minister to advise the Governor to recommend to the Government of India to immediately dissolve the Assembly and hold election.
(The motion was negatived and the resolution was last)
Shri H. Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have been kind enough to allow me to raise the question of extending the sitting of the House because there is so much private be completed. So I would request you, Sir, to kindly reconsider this matter for extending the sitting of the House for at least one or two days.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to support the proposal and I am sure that there is a strong and powerful urge from the Members for extension of the sitting of the House.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : I have already had a discussion regarding this mater and according to the calendar of the present session I have fixed up a meeting with the Planning Board in the morning of 1st December, 1977. Now if the hon. Members want that some time should be made available then I can agree if we meet on the 1st December, 1977 at 2.30 P.M.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the House agrees we will meet at 9.30 A.M.
Mr. Speaker : 1st December, 1977 happens to be a Thursday and it is a recess day. Then, if the House agrees we will meet at 2.30 P.M. on the 1st December, 1977.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is Thursday, so I doubt whether we will be able to sit as it is a recess day.
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Moreover Sir, the report of the Business Advisory Committee has not been brought before this House.
Mr. Speaker : Yes, we will place the report before the House tomorrow.
Prof. M.N. Majaw : But Sir, I fail to understand why they feel hesitant to extend the sitting of the House.
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are not concerned whether the House will sit on Saturday or Wednesday. The House can decide to sit on any day which will be convenient to the House. But here we have found that out of about 19 or 20 motions, only a quarter or half of them have been discussed and out of so many resolutions only two have been discussed. So, it is very very clear and it is a very very reasonable ground for extension of the sitting of the House for at least one day more and the Chief Minister has, just now agreed that it should be in the afternoon of 1st December as he ahs also said that it is a decide recess day.
Mr. Speaker : Yes, according to rule, Thursday is a recess day. But the House is supreme and it can only be decided by the House and it is not p to me to decide this matter and it is also not up to the Leader of the House to decide it.
Shri Jackman Marak : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also support the motion for extension of the sitting of the House.
Shri Plansing Marak : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oppose the motion for extension of the sitting because we have many plans and programmes to be done after the Session.
Shri S. N. Koch : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also oppose this motion for extension of time because we have already chalked out our programme after this Session. So, if the time is extended then it will disturb our plans and programmes. I think the hon. Member of the Opposition group is also a Member of the Business Advisory Committee. So, if the time need be extended it should have been taken in the Committee it self. Moreover, Sir, this bringing of resolution and motions is not a new thing in every Session a number of motions and resolutions were Undisposed.
Mr. Speaker : I do not understand this argument. If you say that you oppose the motion for extension of the Session, because that you oppose the motion for extension of the Session, because the matters are not so important which can be dealt with in so me other ways, then that is a different matter. You may say that you oppose the extension of time simply because you have so many other works to do. I think we better forget that and on 1st December as fold by the Chief Minister, it has become difficult to have the Session because 1st December is a Thursday which is a recess day. That is the main argument. I do not know how...
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have recalled in the past and during the last six years that there have been occasions where recess days have been used as business day or the House.
Mr. Speaker : Even today, after 1.30 p.m., we are still continuing he business of the House. But then it is up to the House to decide it.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols Roy : There is no sanctity about the recess if there are important works to be completed. Moreover, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from our side, when a mistake is there or a technical defect is pointed out by one of the Members yesterday or the day before yesterday in regard to the resolution not having been brought by the Government before placing the supplementary demands, we did not object that the resolution may be moved at the end of the business of the day. Now when it comes for discussion from this side of the House, I think it would be in the fitness of things that those who profess the democratic tradition should see that at least certain amount of time be allotted for discussion from the private Members side. On the first day as raised by Mr. Humphrey Hadem a certain discussion took place in so far as the extension proposed and it may be justified in saying that now they are not correct that they were quite unaware of the proposal. But Sir, it was mentioned by the Chair that towards the latter part of the Session, the matter would be taken up
Prof. M.N. Majaw : So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, this has been raised before and it is quite reasonable to extend the House whether it is in the afternoon or in the morning. It is not a very important matter whatever it is. There is every justification for this and I support the Mover asking leave of the House for extension.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member just now spoke about the co-operation and certain procedure. May I just read out to him, through you, that according to this Parliamentary Procedure of India, at that according to this Parliamentary Procedure of India, at page 296, it sometimes happens that supplementary estimates prescribed be come legal under an Act when such an Act has actually been passed. So, it is according to this practice that we will have to take up such matters. So there is....
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh : Mr. Speaker, Sir, here it is about the attitude of the House.....
Shri Humphrey Hadem : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are supposed to have one day more after the Session and I don't think that anybody will go out on that day.
Shri B.B. Shallam (Minister of State, Border Areas Development) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make one suggestion. Now we are going to have the Session this afternoon and there is a suggestion that we should sit on Thursday at 2.30 p.m. But since we are going to have our Session tomorrow also, then why not we have our Session in the afternoon also!
Mr. Speaker :- No, no, no, the business of the House cannot be taken up in the afternoon Session tomorrow. Now is it the sense of the House that the sitting of the House be extended by one day more, i.e., on 1st December and convert Thursday as working day even though Thursday happens to be a recess day.
Shri P.R. Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, let the Leader of the House reply.
Shri W.A. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- The Leader cannot be a leader without followers!
Mr. Speaker :- So the request made in the motion moved by Shri H. Hadem for extension of the House for one more day is rejected. So now, let us take up another item and as I said yesterday this resolution is to be moved by the Minister-in-charge of P.H.E. I have fixed it to-day and I think this should not be taken as a precedent. So, Mr. S.K. Marak Minister-in-charge of PHE to move the resolution.
Shri S.K. Marak (Minister-in-charge of PHE) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move "Whereas this Assembly considers that it is desirable to have a uniform law throughout India for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, and for matters connected thereto;
And whereas, the subject matter of such law is relatable mainly to entries 6 and 17 of List II- State List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India;
And whereas, Parliament has no power to make laws for the States with respects to the matters aforesaid except as provided in Article 249 and 250 of the Constitution of India;
And whereas, it appears to this Assembly to be desirable that the aforesaid matters should be regulated in the State of Meghalaya by Parliament by law;
And whereas, the Parliament has enacted the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (Act 6 of 1974), to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith;
Now, therefore, in exercise of powers conferred by Clause (1) of Article 252 of the Constitution and sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (Act 6 of 1974), this Assembly hereby resolves that the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (Act 6 of 1974) be adopted in its application to the State of Meghalaya".
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. Now, is there any other observation? It seems there is no other observation. So, I put the question before the House that the resolution as moved by Shri S.K. Marak, Minister, P.H.E., be adopted.
( The motion was carried and the resolution was passed)
Now, the House stands adjourned till 9.30 A.M., tomorrow the 30th November, 1977.
|The 29th November, 1977||Meghalaya Legislative Assembly|