SHILLONG, Aug 18 - Former Congress legislator, who joined NPP and now holds a Cabinet rank, Sniawbhalang Dhar feels that the present Meghalaya Government makes everyone feel like a Chief Minister in their department and decision making has been hassle free.
�Now everyone is a Chief Minister in their departments. There is no interference in running our departments unlike in the previous regime,� Dhar, who holds several important portfolios including Commerce and Industries, Transport, Community and Rural Development and Soil and Water Conservation, said.
Dhar was one of the many Congress legislators who quit Congress ahead of Assembly elections. He joined NPP and was assured of a Cabinet berth. Dhar was also a Cabinet Minister in the previous Congress-led Government and held the PWD department.
Unlike one of his former colleagues and now Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong, Dhar didn�t get into specifics of who was to blame for the alleged stifling situation in the previous Government.
Tynsong was and still has been a vocal critic of former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for constantly interfering in decision making processes and claims all files from the departments had to go through Sangma before they were given approvals.
�Everyone has their own style of functioning, so I would not comment on the style of previous CM, but what I can say is that there is lot of freedom now,� Dhar said.
He added that even in the previous Government he was given a plump portfolio by Sangma and so in that regard he has nothing to complain and he only quit the Congress because his constituents asked him to step down.
�My case was different. People in my constituency (Nartiang) wanted me to quit Congress as they blamed the party for the coal mining ban in Jaintia Hills. So I had to respect their feelings and quit Congress,� the Minister said.
Heaping praise on Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Dhar said, he is one politician who takes everyone along and is optimistic that the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government would last its full term despite having a rainbow coalition.
�This Government would last five years, I am confident about it,� Dhar stated.