While, the demand for immediate implementation of inner-line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya is gaining momentum, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong on Tuesday said the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government is trying its best to convince the Centre for immediate implementation of the inner-line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.
“We are still knocking on the door of the central government, we will try our best to convince them to consider the resolution passed unanimously by the state Assembly (last time),” Tynsong told reporters on Tuesday.
His statement came in the wake of anti-influx pressure groups’ decision to revive their agitations against the delay of the Centre to implement the ILP in the state.
“They (NGOs) need to understand that we (govt) are following up this issue very vigorously and very seriously and that is why we are going to Delhi,” he said.
Asked on the outcome of the recent meeting with the union home minister, Amit Shah, Tynsong however said the question will be appropriate if it is being explained by the chief minister.
Refuting the allegation that the MDA is just buying time, he said, “We are not buying time as this issue (ILP) is not under the jurisdiction of the state government. Had it been a subject under the state government, we would have done it (implement ILP) a long time back. But since this is purely a subject of the central government, we need to follow it up and discuss with them.”
Disagreeing with the notion that it will be difficult to implement ILP since Meghalaya is a transit state, Tynsong said a proper mechanism will be in place to ensure there is no disruption in the inter-state movement if ILP is implemented.
“We will not have any problem as a mechanism will be there, we will simplify and there is no question of disturbing the interstate movement (of people), be it from Assam to Silchar and from Silchar to Assam, or to Mizoram, we will not have that problem at all,” he said.
If the MDA government is ready to lead a protest in Delhi, Tynsong said talking about agitating or demonstrating in Delhi about this issue, it is very risky and not safe at all as COVID-19 cases are increasing day by day in the national capital.
“Inspite of the ongoing pandemic, still the CM and I, we took the risk going down to Delhi to follow up the ILP issue. We will again go to Delhi next month,” he informed.
On the opposition Congress’ allegation that the MDA is giving false hope to the people of the state, the deputy chief minister while ridiculing such claim said under the chief ministership of Mukul Sangma, the then government has never even discussed about ILP.
With regards to the status of the Meghalaya Resident Safety and Security (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was returned by the Governor recently, Tynsong informed that the government is still examining the issue and will again send back the amendment bill to the governor very soon.
“Right now, the file is with the political department which is examining the issue and if need be maybe they can bring it to the cabinet,” he said.
Reacting to the concern expressed by the NGOs, the deputy chief minister said if talked about the principal act of the MRSSA, everything is in place.
“We have already constituted the district task force in all the districts and now under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioners, we are doing it (implementing the MRSSA),” he said while referring to the ongoing construction of the entry point at Umling, Ri Bhoi, which according to him will be made operationalized on or before December, this year.
Meanwhile, the deputy chief minister also maintained that lockdown will be the last resort if there is a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“Lockdown is the last resort but we don’t want to go for lockdown in Meghalaya. We are ready to fight (the second wave),” Tynsong said.