KSU halts agitation, FAF calls office picketing in Garo Hills

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Shillong, Jan 10 (UNI) The Khasi Students' Union (KSU) today kept on hold its agitation for now and decided to wait for next week's Cabinet sitting, even as the Federation for A'chik Freedom (FAF) announced a series of agitation from January 15 in Meghalaya.

Both organisations were opposing the Congress-led government decision to hand over six power projects to private companies. They said the deal was ''arbitrary'' and done in haste without the consensus. The organisations wanted the decision was revoked Chief Minister D D Lapang, who had been silent on the deal, had assured that the Cabinet would discuss the matter on January 17.

'' We would wait for the Cabinet to decide positively on this matter, as it would have direct bearing on the people, '' KSU president Samuel Jyrwa told reporters here.

Terming the agreement ''hasty and dictatorial'', Mr Jyrwa accused Deputy Chief Minister incharge of Power Mukul M Sangma of misleading people by floating different versions of the State Power Policy on the internet.

Flaying Dr Sangma for the current imbroglio, the powerful student body said, '' Earlier, Dr Mukul was instrumental as Taxation Minister in 2002 in handing over the online lottery to MS Associates belonging to controversial Congress Legislator from Assam Mani Kumar Subba. '' The company, the KSU said, defaulted in paying Rs 12 crore to the state.

'' Such people (Sangma) should never be allowed to exploit the people,'' Mr Jyrwa stated.

Meanwhile, the FAF had called for a series of agitation from January 15, starting with office picketing, in the three districts of Garo Hills protesting on the same government decision.

Like the KSU, the Garo Hills-based pressure group was also demanding that the present deal be scrapped and be handed over to companies through an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) and not through ''hand picking'' companies.

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