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2010 saw another change of guard in Meghalaya

By The Assam Tribune
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SHILLONG, Dec 31 � Synonymous with political instability, Meghalaya saw yet another change of guard in 2010, a year which also saw the vexed inter-State boundary dispute raised its ugly head and stepped-up activities of some rebel groups.

Mukul Sangma took over the reins from DD Lapang to become the youngest Chief Minister of the State on April 20, coinciding with his 45th birthday.

Four-time Chief Minister Lapang, who could not complete a full five-year term even once, was forced to quit after a revolt in his party.

Sangma became the head of the 22nd government the State saw in its 38-year Statehood which has been marked by frequent political turbulence.

The year also witnessed a dispute over the inter-State boundary between Meghalaya and Assam following the shooting down of four people reportedly by Assam Police at the disputed village of Langpih on May 14.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram suggested a meeting between the two Chief Ministers to sort out the matter.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma subsequently met his counterpart Tarun Gogoi at Dispur in a bid to solve the issue. During a meeting in Guwahati in June, a committee headed by chief secretaries of both the states was constituted to resolve the boundary dispute.

In February, a blasphemous image of Jesus Christ in a textbook meant for junior students created a flutter in the State. The publisher, Skyline Publication, later tendered a public apology for hurting people�s religious sentiments and regretted the �gross mistake� and promised to retrieve the erroneous book from all places where it was sent.

Following several media reports, New Delhi stepped in to preserve a neglected bungalow in Shillong where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had stayed during one of his visits, even as the Vishwa Bharati stressed on the need to restore all historic houses and sites associated with the poet on his 150th birth anniversary.

The State Government has of late started renovation works in the Brookside Bungalow at Rilbong, where the poet had stayed for a month and wrote some of his masterpieces in 1919.

The Government made another attempt to hold the first -ever civic polls in the State this year but had to abandon its plans after the election authorities were compelled to postpone the polls twice in two months since September in the wake of large-scale protests.

The protesters were apprehensive of the fact that the elected municipalities will lead to erosion of powers of the traditional heads.

While the election process was called off, the Municipal Affairs department was asked to examine and take a call on the issue as to when the Government can set in motion the process.

Ever since Statehood in 1972, Meghalaya has never conducted civic polls.

However, over a month after it was forced to adjourn the civic elections in Garo hills, the Government on December 22 notified polls to the Jowai Municipal Board which will be held on February 15.

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2010 saw another change of guard in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, Dec 31 � Synonymous with political instability, Meghalaya saw yet another change of guard in 2010, a year which also saw the vexed inter-State boundary dispute raised its ugly head and stepped-up activities of some rebel groups.

Mukul Sangma took over the reins from DD Lapang to become the youngest Chief Minister of the State on April 20, coinciding with his 45th birthday.

Four-time Chief Minister Lapang, who could not complete a full five-year term even once, was forced to quit after a revolt in his party.

Sangma became the head of the 22nd government the State saw in its 38-year Statehood which has been marked by frequent political turbulence.

The year also witnessed a dispute over the inter-State boundary between Meghalaya and Assam following the shooting down of four people reportedly by Assam Police at the disputed village of Langpih on May 14.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram suggested a meeting between the two Chief Ministers to sort out the matter.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma subsequently met his counterpart Tarun Gogoi at Dispur in a bid to solve the issue. During a meeting in Guwahati in June, a committee headed by chief secretaries of both the states was constituted to resolve the boundary dispute.

In February, a blasphemous image of Jesus Christ in a textbook meant for junior students created a flutter in the State. The publisher, Skyline Publication, later tendered a public apology for hurting people�s religious sentiments and regretted the �gross mistake� and promised to retrieve the erroneous book from all places where it was sent.

Following several media reports, New Delhi stepped in to preserve a neglected bungalow in Shillong where Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had stayed during one of his visits, even as the Vishwa Bharati stressed on the need to restore all historic houses and sites associated with the poet on his 150th birth anniversary.

The State Government has of late started renovation works in the Brookside Bungalow at Rilbong, where the poet had stayed for a month and wrote some of his masterpieces in 1919.

The Government made another attempt to hold the first -ever civic polls in the State this year but had to abandon its plans after the election authorities were compelled to postpone the polls twice in two months since September in the wake of large-scale protests.

The protesters were apprehensive of the fact that the elected municipalities will lead to erosion of powers of the traditional heads.

While the election process was called off, the Municipal Affairs department was asked to examine and take a call on the issue as to when the Government can set in motion the process.

Ever since Statehood in 1972, Meghalaya has never conducted civic polls.

However, over a month after it was forced to adjourn the civic elections in Garo hills, the Government on December 22 notified polls to the Jowai Municipal Board which will be held on February 15.

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