Shillong: Meghalaya Trinamool Congress Party on Thursday organised a ‘Town Hall – Conversation with Women’ at Bivar road in Shillong, which was addressed by Dr Mukul Sangma, Trinamool Congress Legislature Party Leader and Leader of Opposition.
The event’s objective was to build a more human connection between the leader and the female residents of the area. A large congregation of women from all walks of life came forward with their questions which were addressed by Dr Sangma.
When asked what the MDA government could have done to prevent the Mukroh tragedy, Dr Sangma replied, “The brutal killings could have been avoided because the brutalities were not a result of community clash, but an act perpetrated by the government authorities. There should have been pre-emptive measures, which were missing. The dialogue between the two governments was missing.”
Calling the shutdown of the Internet ‘a bankruptcy of ideas’, he stated, “The government gave a knee-jerk reaction by shutting down the internet. During my tenure, not even on a single occasion did we shut down the internet in the name of restoring order, peace, and law. This is a reflection of a bankruptcy of ideas.”
During the interactive session, a question on women’s inclusion in the political scenario of Meghalaya was raised by a female resident.
Responding to the question, Dr Mukul Sangma commented, “The involvement of women in the process of democracy is extremely crucial. Our party leadership Smt. Mamata Banerjee is the Chairperson of AITC and she has demonstrated her dedication, integrity, and commitment and has fared way better than men even in electoral battles. She has proven that women can defeat formidable opponents.”
With a heartfelt note of inspiration, he added, “My mother aspired to be a politician but she couldn’t due to the circumstances, however she passed her dreams on to her children.”
Answering a question regarding the MDA government’s infrastructural collapse, Dr Sangma drew a comparison to his tenure of governance. “The education department had a budget that only accommodated salaries and no infrastructural support. We ensured government colleges in every district from only two colleges in the state. In Mawphlang, we established a college of science and commerce. In Garo hills, we have colleges for engineering, and architecture funded by the Government of India.”
Answering a question about the traffic in Shillong City, Dr Sangma said, “To ease traffic congestion and to promote tourism during my tenure, I initiated four-lane construction in the Jorabat-Shillong route. Eastern Bypass alone is not sufficient. Unfortunately, the government of the day wasted five years by not paying attention to important routes such as Western Bypass.”
He added, “In 2012, we released a beautiful public transport system. I embarked upon the public bus along with my colleagues to inaugurate it. The reality of traffic snarls needs to be understood first for a sustainable resolution.”
During the event, Meghalaya TMC leader James Lyngdoh and North Shillong Block President from Meghalaya TMC, Elgiva Gwyneth Rynjah were also present.
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