Need not copy other leaders on austerity: Meghalaya CM

    By IANS,

    Shillong : Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Tuesday termed as “rhetoric and populist strategies” the austerity measures adopted by other politicians in the country.

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    Asked to comment on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s endeavour to do away with “VIP culture”, Sangma said: “I would do things in my way and need not replicate the austerity measures adopted by any politician in the country.”

    “Different people do things differently and that in no way means I should replicate people. I have been in politics for more than 20 years and have resolved to do things on my own. We have our own approaches and strategies,” the chief minister said.

    Being simple was a “populist strategy” being adopted by some politicians, Sangma said.

    However, as a politician for the past two decades, Sangma said he believes he must follow conventions and work for the people rather than give in to such “rhetoric and promises”.

    On his posh official bungalow “Good Wood” in Oakland area, which was recently constructed at a cost of Rs.10 crore, Sangma said not having such a workplace “eats into the efficiency”.

    “When I was staying at my house (private residence at Nongrim Hills), there was only one sitting room for people… so it eats into the efficiency and this in a way affects the state’s interests. The bungalow is not a luxury but a necessity,” he said.

    Asked about the Supreme Court’s ban on use of red beacons on vehicles, Sangma said there were various opinions about that but he would not advise his colleagues what they should do about it.

    The Supreme Court in a Dec 10 ruling barred the use of red beacons on vehicles, except of those holding high constitutional posts or offices.

    The chief minister, however, promised that his government would table a stringent social audit bill in the assembly to fight corruption and plug loopholes in the public distribution system.

    “We would table the social audit bill so that projects and programmes would be audited transparently concurrently and not on a post-mortem