Polls must to get Central funds: CM
By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Despite bowing down to NGO pressure to postpone the municipal elections on Friday, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma reiterated that holding of the polls is mandatory to avail of JNNURM funds from the Centre.
Dr Sangma said the Government in September had received a letter from the Centre categorically stating that if the State wanted to avail of funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), reforms including holding of municipal elections is a must.
“The Centre would not sanction the JNNURM funds meant for the State unless elections to the civic bodies are held,” Dr Sangma told reporters here on Friday.
He also said the people of the State have been deprived of their rights to have democratically elected municipal bodies.
Meanwhile, in an official statement issued on Friday, the Chief Minister stated the reasons to “adjourn” the civic polls as, “The situation was not conducive for the conduct of a free, fair and peaceful election. Given the imminent possibility of major law and order situation, we therefore considered prudent to adjourn the elections to the four municipalities for the time being.”
Dr Sangma also said before taking the decision the government had assessed the situation after examining all inputs from the ground.
On the fund crisis faced by State, the Chief Minister reiterated the present government had inherited empty coffers.
During the last financial year the State had liabilities of Rs 600 crore, he said.
“We went against the recommendation of the Fourth Pay Commission and were generous enough to pay arrears from 1st January 2007 instead of 1st January 2008 to the employees,” Dr Sangma said.
Source: The Shillong Times