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Meghalaya Congress seeks more Assembly and Lok Sabha seats

Shillong, Sep 25 (UNI) Meghalaya Congress legislator Process T Sawkmie on Monday suggested the need to increase the number of Assembly seats to 70 and Lok Sabha seats to four in the state.

He said considering the increase in population, there are constituencies in the state that require more  development and cited his Mawlai constituency, the biggest constituency in the state with a total of about 43,000 voters and about one lakh population.

Sawkmie made this suggestion during a discussion which he initiated through a special motion on the overall development in the state and the need to seek more  financial assistance from the Centre, and earmark a budget provision for all the eleven districts in the Assembly.

Meghalaya at present has 60 members in the State Legislative Assembly, and two Lok Sabha members and one Rajya Sabha member.

He said that the Rs 2 Cr allotted to each legislator to develop their respective constituency is not enough for big constituency like Mawlai assembly, which he is representing.

Sawkmie also said the state will have good voice if the state has more Members of Parliament besides demanding equal share of development to all the 11 districts
in the state.

He asked the state government to also seek more funds from the Centre which he hoped that the government led by the NPP in the state has a good link with the NDA  government at the Centre being led by the BJP.

Stating that projects always take time to complete in Meghalaya, Sawkmie said the state government should pursue with the Centre to provide central assistance.

Participating in the discussion, Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma slammed the Centre for withholding developmental funds meant for the state.

“The approach of the government of India is to retain the money which is the entitlements of the people of the state. It is “unacceptable” and “painful for the people of Meghalaya,” the former chief minister said.

The veteran Congress legislator alleged that the attitude of the Central government proves beyond reasonable doubt that such funds are being diverted for something else. Sangma took strong exception to a circular by the Centre prohibiting illegal animal sacrifices on and before Bakri Eid.

“Such a circular was an act of provocation.“If similar notifications were given during Christmas and New Year’s what will happen,” he asked.

Criticizing the NPP-led coalition government in the state for playing politics with developmental agendas, Sangma said, “When the Congress was in power it never asked any MLAs to resign before upgrading an area into a Block or a Civil Sub-Division or a District.”

Indirectly referring to the case of then, Ranikor Congress MLA, Martin M Danggo who quit the party and his seat to seek re-election from the NPP, Dr Sangma said, “We never asked Witting Mawsor (of the HSPDP) to resign when we upgraded Mawshynrut from a Block to a Civil Sub-Division.”

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