SHILLONG: Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui today said the state’s BJP leadership should first demand resignation of Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa before asking him to step down following the death of six miners inside an illegal coal mine in the state.
“Meghalaya BJP leaders should first ask for the resignation of the Karnataka chief minister after five people died on January 21, 2021, in the explosion at a quarry in Hunasodu village is his home constituency Shivamogga. The BJP should introspect first,” Rymbui told newspersons here. He was reacting to a demand by BJP state president Ernest Mawrie and BJP MLA AL Hek for Rymbui resignation following the death of six miners in East Jaintia Hills district.
“It is not a question of accepting or shirking responsibility. People from Riwar area never shy away from responsibility and challenges. I am not a coward. I am the home minister being supported by the United Democratic Party. I am holding this portfolio because the chief minister has bestowed the responsibility on me,” he added.
Asserting that he loves constructive criticism so that he could improve, Rymbui said: “If there is any shortcoming, I will try to improve. I have the right to perform my duties to the best of my ability,” he said.
He said the investigation into the death of the six coal miners was still on. “I am yet to get a full report about the incident. The police have detained 17 people for interrogation and the land owner of the coal mine is identified as Lal Bareh. But he was not doing the mining himself. We cannot just blame or pick up anyone to calm down the situation. The chargesheet which is being done should be proven in the court of law,” he said.
Rymbui also said the Meghalaya government had two years ago constituted committees in all districts headed by the respective deputy commissioners to check illegal coal mining. “The committee is expected to carry out periodic inspections in the various coal mines to see if there is any illegal mining going on,” he said.
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