Meghalaya's cabinet "misused": Dy CM

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Shillong, Jan 11 (UNI) Breaking his silence, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy today said the state Cabinet has been "misused" to get the six-power projects signed in favour of private companies.

Dr Roy was reacting to the controversial decision of the cabinet on December 7 of handing over of six power projects to private companies.

''I received a call in Sohra, hours before the Cabinet members sat on December 7. I was unable to attend that meeting at such short notice,'' Dr Roy told reporters at his official residence here today.

The Cabinet on December 7 approved the agreement to enter into a joint venture with private companies to develop six power projects in the state. Just six, out of the 12 Cabinet Ministers were present during that meeting.

Those present were Chief Minister DD Lapang, Deputy Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Deborah Marak, Paul Lyngdoh, Charles Pyngrope and Zenith Sangma.

Out of these six Ministers, Paul Lyngdoh is opposing the deal, saying that the agreement was done in ''haste'' and there was hardly any time for proper study of its clauses.

''The Cabinet was misused. The decision was rushed in the absence of many Cabinet Ministers,'' the UDP Chief stated.

Six Cabinet Ministers recently signed a letter of protest opposing the agreement and dashed it to the Chief Minister. Lapang has assured that the Cabinet would be convened on January 17 and the matter would be discussed.

The Khasi Students' Union (KSU), spearheading the Opposition against the government's decision, has accused the government, especially the Power Ministry for acting in a ''dictatorial'' fashion and without consensus.

The students' body termed the deal as ''shady'' and vowed to oppose it. However, KSU has said it would wait for the Cabinet's decision on January 17 and then declare its future course of action.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People's joined the chorus against the Congress government's power deal with private firms. The FKJGP decided to hold a six-hour hunger strike in protest against the deal.

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