Meghalaya assembly adjourned over ‘academic’ feud

March 18th, 2011 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, March 18 (IANS) The Meghalaya assembly was Friday adjourned for twenty minutes after a verbal duel between Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and members of the opposition Nationalist Congress Party.

The verbal duel erupted when Sangma questioned the academic credentials of leader of opposition, Conrad K Sangma, in mathematics.

The chief minister was reacting to a question on compensation package worked out for victims of the Garo-Rabha ethnic clash early this year.

At least 10 people were killed and as many as 300 houses on both sides of the riot-hit areas of Assam’s Goalpara district and Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district were burnt in the clashes in January.

During the question hour Conrad asked why was the government unable to figure out the total losses from the clashes even after three months. He offered to assist the government in working out the “simple” calculation.

The chief minister said the government was capable enough of working out the calculation of its own work and wondered how good Conrad was in mathematics during his studies.

Taking offence at the personal attack, Conrad stood up and protested.

He was vociferously supported by his father P.A. Sangma, former Lok Sabha speaker, and brother James K. Sangma.

Amidst the din, P.A. Sangma accused the chief minister of being a rusticated medical student.

“Shame… shame… the chief minister of Meghalaya was rusticated from college,” shouted the opposition.

Although Speaker Charles Pyngrope tried to cool down the frayed tempers, the din continued.

The speaker eventually had to adjourn the house for 20 minutes.

P.A. Sangma has often claimed that the chief minister is a rusticated medical student and he, as chief minster decades ago, rescued his cause.

“Go and check the college records if I am a rusticated student,” Mukul Sangma was heard saying during the argument.

Earlier, the chief minister informed the assembly that the reason for the tribal conflict can be ascertained only after a specific study and enquiry.

Stating that the damages have been extensive, he said four people were killed in Meghalaya and 1,036 households have been affected during the clashes.

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