Shillong: Emotions ran high on Day 4 of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly’s Autumn Session during the question hour on the Assam-Meghalaya border dispute.
A war of words erupted between North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
Nongrum felt he was being ignored during the question hour on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and even complained to the Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh, that he was trying to annoy him.
The Speaker urged Nongrum to refrain from disrespecting the Chair. Nongrum in his defense said that he had been waiting for more than 40 minutes, raising his hand to ask a question, but was ignored.
Nongrum then lashed out at the chief minister, daring his government to review the MoU signed between Assam and Meghalaya.
Countering Nongrum, the CM challenged the North Shillong MLA if he could list out the 12 areas of differences without refering to his notes. “Tell me the number of times he has visited these areas of difference,” Sangma demanded.
In an emotional outburst, Nongrum said he would not, calling it the duty of the CM.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong was quick to jump in trying to silence Nongrum, but to no avail. The raging voices of the three members (CM, Deputy CM, and Nongrum) reverberated in the House, overpowering the voice of the Speaker, who was trying to calm both sides to maintain the decorum of the House.
The heated argument lasted for over a minute, wherein Tynsong could also be heard asking the MLA not to be emotional regarding the Assam-Meghalaya border dispute.
Once the Speaker was able to silence both parties, the CM was then given an opportunity to respond to the Nongrum’s question.
“I understand that we are all emotional about this topic and I respect his (Nongrum’s) sentiments. I had only asked the member to list the areas of difference because we get emotional about the issue without knowing the areas or villages. Just simply shouting and showing such drama for whatever reasons — maybe the approaching elections, who knows — doesn’t help. Emotional outburst is unnecessary,” said Sangma.
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