P T Sawkmie
File image of P T Sawkmie

Meghalaya’s Congress MLA P T Sawkmie urged all legislators and MPs from the State to stand united to ensure that the state has a Central Agriculture University.

Sawkmie who is the Opposition Chief Whip told reporters that Meghalaya should not lose the University when land around 200 acres was already given at Kyrdemkulai in Ri-Bhoi district.

Urging chief minister Conrad K Sangma to pursue the matter with the present NDA government to establish the university in the State, Sawkmie said, “The Centre should stick to its own decision to set up the CAU in Meghalaya and should not change it.”

Instead of the university, the Central Agriculture College is being established at Kyrdemkulai which affiliates with the CAU, Imphal in Manipur.

On the allegation that the previous Congress-led government in Meghalaya did not pressurize the Centre, especially when the agriculture college was started instead of a full-fledged university, Sawkmie said there should not be any blame game.

“We all 60 MLAs and three MPs of the State must fight together,” he said.

On Tuesday, Union Agriculture minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, while replying to the question of Shillong MP, Vincent H Pala, informed the Lok Sabha that it was proposed to set up a Central Agricultural University (CAU) in Meghalaya to cater to the states of Meghalaya and Nagaland, on the basis of ‘in-principle’ approval obtained from the Planning Commission in 2009.

“Subsequently, the act governing the Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal was amended, fulfilling the requirement of setting up a separate university in Meghalaya,” Tomar stated.

The Centre has also received a representation from the Meghalaya government on this issue and the same is being examined, Tomar added.

Independent MLA S K Sun, who had taken up this issue since last year, accused agriculture minister Banteidor Lyngdoh of misleading the state Assembly when he gave a reply to his query on the establishment of the CAU at Kyrdemkulai.

“The minister had misled the House. When I keep asking questions on this issue, the minister informed the House that works were going on for setting up the CAU and not the college. But now only the college is being established there,” Sun said.

Sun also demanded that the University should not go out of Meghalaya.

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