Shillong, Jan 5: Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has dismissed recent threats against him by the banned HNLA outfit maintaining that he is an elected people’s representative because of the mandate given to him by the people of his constituency Pynursla and urged the outfit to show seriousness to peace talks.
Reacting to the recent threat issued by the outfit, Tynsong said, “I personally feel as a responsible citizen of the state, I should not take any special cognizance on that because I think those people who threaten me, I don’t know for what, and what is the reason or whether is it just for the sake of threatening that also we don’t know. But what I am saying is I am elected by the people of Pynursla constituency, I am here because of the mandate of the people of the state as a whole. As deputy CM, my commitment is to make sure that I serve with sincerity and I will serve the state till the last breath of my life.”
The HNLC, in a statement issued on December 24 last year, threatened to target family members of Tynsong and Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui while accusing the government of arresting what it claims were ‘innocent youths’.
The outfit had alleged that many innocent youth have been arrested by the police department because authorities have been unsuccessful in nabbing its cadres.
On accusations against the MDA government about running a cartel to facilitate illegal mining and transportation of coal, Tynsong reiterated that he is ready to step down as deputy chief minister if the outfit can prove its allegation.
“I have already clarified everything but let me reiterate if the allegation is substantiated I am ready to resign even at this moment from the post of deputy CM,” he said.
Asking the rebel outfit to display seriousness to talks, he said “My only appeal to them is that from the state government we welcome discussion, we welcome dialogue, but that does not end only within the authority of the state government. It has to be from the central government because banning of the HNLC was not done by the state government but by the central government. Otherwise, if it is within our jurisdiction and power, I think by this time negotiation or dialogue or discussion would have started.”
“Therefore, show that you are serious so that the central government will facilitate peace talks,” appealed Tynsong and informed that the state government has already submitted its report to the central government in this regard.