Amidst the growing demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit in the state, reserving his view on the ILP issue, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday said the state government should plead with the Centre for the passage of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
“If I am Chief Minister, I will go and plead for MRSSAB first, get it passed, ILP will come later,” Malik told reporters.
The MRSSAB was passed by the state Assembly last year and is lying pending with the Centre.
“As far as this Bill is concerned, it is lying with the Centre because the outgoing Governor did not sign it, so I cannot overrule that. They (govt) have to talk to the union home minister and I will have no objection if I get direction from the home ministry,” he assured.
Asked on his recent meeting with the union home minister, the Governor said, “The union home minister is a very intelligent person so he told me that he would prefer to talk about it (MRSSAB) to the CM and I told the CM that you go and plead (with him).”
Stating that the MRSSAB is a harmless bill, he however said that he cannot do anything about it since it is up to the state government to convince the home ministry.
Seeking his view on the growing demand for implementation of the ILP in Meghalaya, the Governor said ILP should be allowed or not, it is the Centre’s prerogative.
“I cannot give any view on ILP, whether it is required or not, whether the entire population is for ILP. I have not understood how ILP will help the Meghalaya people. I have no opinion, I am only saying that it is harmful. You will have no investment, you will have no tourism, nobody will come to you and ultimately will be harmful – this is not my opinion but my assessment,” he asserted.
“I went to Cherrapunjee yesterday. From here to Cherrapunjee every Dhaba is closed, from here to Guwahati every Dhaba is closed, many shops run by poor ladies, fruit vendors and others – everything is gone. After ILP, nobody will come to your state. If ILP is required to protect the people here, I don’t have any objection… If MRSSAB is passed, then ILP is not required at all,” he added.
Asked, Malik said that the former governor in his opinion felt that a bill of this nature without Centre’s support, the governor cannot do it.
“MRSSA is required if ILP is not there but ILP should be sorted out. If I am CM I will take all the ministers, go to the Centre along with the advocate general because I had talked to him also and he had explained well, if they take him and argued with the home minister, I am sure that this MRSSA will go through. If it goes through, ILP can wait,” he further reiterated.
To another query, the Governor said that there is no risk to the local population. “There is no imminent danger to the local crowd. If MRSSA is passed then it can really be sold that look ‘this is the defense for you’,” he said.