SHILLONG: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested the establishment of a third Presidential Retreat in the Northeast, preferably in Shillong, which is the historical capital of Northeast India.
The Chief Minister told the Prime Minister that a Presidential Retreat in Shillong is necessary and the President can stay at least two weeks in a year in the retreat.
“This would send a very strong message of inclusiveness and a strong message of importance towards the Northeast being accorded by the Central Government,” Conrad told the Prime Minister.
Currently, there are two Presidential Retreat in India – The Retreat Building in Shimla and the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad – which are indicative of the integrative role of the Office of the President of India in our country.
These locations, one in north and another in south, symbolizes unity of our country and unity of our diverse cultures and people.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also suggested to the Prime Minister that States should also be allowed to work in close association with Niti Aayog.
Conrad also mooted an idea on the “Sister State” relationship, wherein two States collaborate for exchange of culture, business and trade relationship.
He said that if all States have such ‘Sister State’ relationship, it would enable learning and exchange of different strengths and potential, which would further strengthen the growth and development initiatives in the country.
Citing an example of Meghalaya – Maharashtra Sister State relationship, the Chief Minister said, “Meghalaya and Maharashtra can have close association in the field of Bollywood, music, cultural exchange programme as well as have collaboration for research, entrepreneurship and explore potential of organic products from Meghalaya to Mumbai, where demand for organic food is very high”.
Moreover, the Chief Minister apprised the Prime Minister that Meghalaya is close to coming up with a Water Policy with the objective to ensure conservation, rain water harvest, purification, river rejuvenation.
“The Prime Minister has liked the idea and has asked me to discuss the matter with the Jal Shakti Ministry, I have discussed the matter with the ministry and they have liked the idea too. The ministry is now proposing the idea for all other States to replicate,” Conrad said.
He also apprised the Prime Minister on the upcoming National Games to be held in Meghalaya in 2022 and said that it is a historic year for the country as we will celebrate 75th years of Independence and 50 year of Statehood.
The Chief Minister urged for the Central Government’s full support for hosting of the National Games.
The inclusion of Khasi and Garo language in the 8th Schedule was also discussed by the Cabinet colleagues who met the Modi in the presence of Tura Lok Sabha MP Agatha K Sangma.