Shillong, March 15: Former Meghalaya chief minister Donkupar Roy today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should not be involved in future state elections to ensure that "polls can be held among equals."
But at the same time, Roy, who is also the state UDP president, observed that if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders could campaign in Meghalaya during the polls to help the Congress win, then the same people should be utilised to resolve the inter-state boundary dispute with Assam.
Roy, who is now in the Opposition, made the observations while moving amendments to the motion of thanks on the governor's address in the Assembly.
Stating that there was no mention of the boundary dispute in yesterday's governor's address, the former chief minister said it was the responsibility of the government to resolve the inter-state boundary dispute.
"Many of us would not like to call it a dispute. But accept the fact that it is a dispute," the UDP president said.
He reminded that during the recent poll campaign, several Congress leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC president Sonia Gandhi and others, had campaigned for the party.
"If they have helped to win an election in the state, will they not help solve the boundary dispute? Make use of the opportunity," Roy told the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government.
At the same time, he urged the state government to ask the Centre to amend the North East Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971 so that Block I in Jaintia Hills and Block II in Ri Bhoi are restored to Meghalaya from Assam.
Poll campaign: Roy, who represents Shella constituency, also wondered whether the recent election was actually "free and fair" although it was "peaceful".
"I do not know how you define free and fair when many people do not have faith in the electronic voting machines," the six-time legislator observed.
While stating that the recent election was not an election of equals, Roy said the Prime Minister should not be involved in state politics. "Prime Minister should be avoided from now on so that the elections can be held among equals," he said.
More districts: The former chief minister also demanded the creation of two more districts in Sohra and Mairang while insisting on the formation of sub-divisions in Mawshynrut, Pynursla and Laskein.
Last year, the Mukul Sangma government had created four new districts ' South West Khasi Hills in Mawkyrwat, East Jaintia Hills in Khliehriat, North Garo Hills in Resubelpara and South West Garo Hills in Ampati.
"Sohra is the oldest sub-division in the state and it already has the required infrastructure. The chief minister is in charge of both planning and finance departments, and we all know that he is capable of getting the money for the creation of new districts," Roy said.
He said people aspire to having more districts and sub-divisions so that the administration can come closer to them.
Women police: "If you can have a woman home minister, why can't you have a women's police battalion?" Roy asked. The legislator further pointed out that there were some police personnel who were responsible for tarnishing the image of the police department. While urging that no drunken police personnel be sent for duty at night, he said, "They (drunk policemen) are angels during the day, but devils by night."
Trade with Bangladesh: Roy suggested the opening up of more trade routes between Meghalaya and Bangladesh. He said the poor infrastructure on the Meghalaya side was a major constraint in carrying out trade and commerce with the neighbouring country.
"There are no roads which could enable to connect our villages with Bangladesh," he said.
The former chief minister suggested that the government should experiment with building RCC roads especially on the southern slopes of the state where there is heavy rainfall and where the monsoon lasts longer.