MEGHALAYA: The Voice of the People Party (VPP), the leading opposition party, has issued a stern warning, announcing its intention to boycott the upcoming Meghalaya Assembly budget if the governor’s speech is used for in Hindi only without English translator .The resolution emerging from a parliamentary group meeting held on January 30 was formally presented to Assembly Speaker Thomas A Sangma on Friday.
In the letter addressed to Sangma, Heavingstone Kharpran, the Secretary of the VPP Parliamentary Party, emphasized the significance of the Budget Session and its implications for the people of the state. Kharpran expressed concern over previous sessions where the Governor predominantly addressed the House in Hindi, causing discomfort for members not proficient in the language.
Notably, Hindi is not the official language of Meghalaya. "In this connection and on behalf of the Voice of the People Party, I respectfully convey the decision of the Parliamentary Party meeting held on the 30th of January 2023, to appeal to you that the address of the Governor is made in English," stated Kharpran in the letter. He further suggested that if the Governor is unable to address the House in English, the Assembly office should arrange for a translator during the entire speech for the convenience of all stakeholders.
The VPP further emphasized the importance of producing information in a language accessible to all members, noting that this approach was consistent with the principles of transparency, inclusion and effective governance of the financial system in the 19th century. "The party wishes to make it clear that it will not be part of the issue if the Assembly Secretariat does not address this issue," Kharpran concluded the letter sharply.
As the budget looms, the VPP’s stand has introduced new complexities into the linguistic dynamics in the Meghalaya Assembly, raising questions over language inclusion and representation in the state’s parliamentary agendas.