Meghalaya Congress to take privilege motion against CM Conrad Sangma
The Congress party has accused the chief minister of misleading the House in regards to the power purchase agreement signed with the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) in 2007.
The opposition Congress in Meghalaya will table a privilege motion against Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday, accusing him of misleading the House in regards to the power purchase agreement signed with the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) in 2007.
Addressing media persons soon after the ongoing budget session on Thursday, Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that the "attempt to mislead and misinform" the House has come from none other than the Leader of the House.
“In order to prevent this precedent to carry on in the future, it requires the members of the House to come up with a complaint for breach of privilege. Therefore, we have decided to table a privilege motion against the chief minister,” Mukul said.
He alleged that the chief minister has deliberately with predetermine motive misinformed the House about the PPA signed by the then Congress-led state government with the NTPC in 2007.
“…they were trying to play to the gallery but the worst thing is that they have misinformed the House which amounts to breach of privilege of the House and with a sheer intent malafide and predetermined intent to hide the facts which requires their attention and correction.”
The chief minister had alleged the then Congress-led government for signing a “one-sided agreement” due to which the state has to annually pay over Rs 130 crore to the NTPC despite not purchasing power from them for past 3 years.
According to him, the government would have to pay Rs 3,300 crore approximately to the NTPC in the next 25 year.
Stating that this is not a case in isolation, Mukul said there were also numbers of instances in the past.
“I remember him (Conrad) telling one day while replying even that Shillong-Nongstoin road is implemented by his late father – these are impromptu tendencies to come up with any statements which are not based on facts which are just to play to the gallery. These are not something which is allowed in the House (especially) from the government side as it amounts to misinforming & misleading the House which attracts the provisions of the breach of privilege motion.”
Mukul said the chief minister had tried to misinform the people of the state through his misinformation inside the House saying that the state government has to pay Rs 11 crore to the NTPC per month.
“Where is that Rs 11 crore mentioned here (in the PPA)? You go para by para, you will not see (it) but you will only see what is based on the provision of the law,” he added.
The Leader of Opposition also questioned the failure of the chief minister to cancel the PPA with NTPC during his tenure as power minister in 2008-2009.
“When they say this PPA is so bad and that it was signed in September 2007, Conrad K sangma was minister of power in 2008-09, he must have read this…(so) why he hasn’t cancel it at that point of time,” he said.
Stating that the PAA is a standard agreement, Mukul said this is not an agreement which has been signed only by the government of Meghalaya but by other states of the North East region as well for drawing power from NTPC’s Bongaigaon thermal power plant.
“This is not an agreement formatted under whims and fancies of individuals – these are all mandated by the provisions of the law. Similar notifications have been issued to the Manipur government, Arunachal Pradesh government as that is the standard operative procedure to deal with the defaulters,” he said while referring to load shedding being imposed in the state.
“Any regulation is also by determining the tariff and the quantum of power which will be drawn by the beneficiary state. any power company will have that binding clause in case the proposed beneficiary state backs out and says that they won’t draw, until they can sell it or allocate it to another state, until then you will have to pay the fixed charges,” he added.
According to him, these are all governed by the Electricity act 2003 and the tariff in respect of the generation companies owned by the government of India is being fixed by the CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission).
“This tariff and quantum of power will determine how much is the fixed charges that will be payable by the beneficiary states in the event that you are not drawing the power or in the event that you are defaulting the payment,” he further stated.
Meanwhile, the former chief minister said that the present state government does not want to address the concerns of the people relating to the MeECL and alleged irregularities in implementation of various important projects designed to create a turnaround in the energy sector.
“They don’t want to correct that because they are the author of that mismanagement, I have said in the House it is a well scripted modus operandi and it also includes posting and transfer of different officers, whoever says no they are transferred it is as easy as that…,” he further stated.