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Political leaders sometimes shock people by their ‘ethical’ moves. Meghalaya home minister Roshan Warjri’s resignation is such a shocker. There had been no audible voice asking for her scalp. She said she quit taking moral responsibility of the spurt in violence in Garo Hills, especially the frequent killings of the men in uniform besides civilians in recent months. In fact, it was chief minister Mukul Sangma who had been being blamed by the Opposition all along for the deteriorating law and order situation in the region. Mukul’s bête noire Purno Sangma, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, had even gone to the extent of terming him the ‘chairman’ of all militant outfits in Garo Hills. Under such circumstances where Warjri’s name hardly came up for criticism, her resignation appears to have more than what meets the eye.

Ironically, the drastic move by one of the three women ministers came in the wake of rising demand for resignation of the other two in the 12-member cabinet. Resignation of urban affairs minister Ampareen Lyngdoh was sought by various political parties and NGOs for her alleged direct involvement in a teacher appointment scam when she was an education minister in the earlier government. There were a couple of FIRs pending against her with police reply being the case is ‘sub-judice’, and cannot take action. On the other hand, social welfare minister Deborah Marak was charge-sheeted for allegedly using militants to threaten voters during last elections. There was demand for her resignation too, by the Opposition.

Although her resignation came as a bolt from the blue, it has been noticed that Roshan Warjri failed to put up an image of having control over the things under her jurisdiction. More often than not it had been chief minister Mukul Sangma speaking out about the law and order situation. Her voice was noticeably faint in matters like dealing with militant outfits, either by force or with dialogue. This was perhaps the reason why the Opposition used to fire with all four cylinders at the chief minister for any law and order failure. Apparently, she was spared by Opposition and civil society groups. But internal happenings have much room for speculation. Was she under some pressure from inside her Congress party to make room for another MLA in the cabinet? Was she handicapped by bureaucratic and political forces and she got frustrated and quit? Even time may not give the answer of these queries. But what is certain is that her resignation will not bring any positive change for the people, citing whose sufferings she took the extreme step. It’s a political move and will serve political, and only political, interest.

(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on November 22, 2014)