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MPCC asked to keep distance from Bindo’s statement
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 9
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Published on 10 Mar. 2010 12:15 AM IST
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Congress president Sonia Gandhi has directed the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) to disassociate itself from Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M Lanong’s statement wherein he allegedly termed a group of women as ‘’venomous vipers’’ ‘’We are not responsible for any statement made by a non-Congress party member. Our party stands for womens cause and holds them in high esteem,’’ Meghalaya Congress party president, Friday Lyngdoh told reporters here. Lanong, a senior United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator, was reacting to an article written by Patricia Mukhim, an editor of a local English daily. He was criticised in The Shillong Times for claiming there was ‘’no oppression of women in Meghalaya,’’ at a regional level conference on womens rights organised by the National Commission for Women here last month. However, Lanong had denied making any statement dubbing the women right activists ‘’venomous vipers.’’ Yesterday, several women organisations wore black badges and organised a signature campaign against Lanong on the occasion of the International Womens day. ‘’The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has expressed its concern over the statement and has asked party leaders about it,’’ Education minister and the lone woman legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh said. When asked, Lyngdoh said, ‘’If he was a Congress member we would have taken disciplinary action, since we cannot dictate terms.’’ Condemning Lanong’s statement, Leader of Opposition (NCP), Conrad Sangma said it was unfortunate that a senior legislator like Lanong passed such a comment against women. ‘’He should have refrained from making such statements,’’ Sangma said. Meanwhile, the agitators today decided to submit an ‘’eye-opening’’ memorandum to the government on womens oppression in the state on March 11. ‘’We would submit a memorandum to the government and provide data and facts on womens oppression in Meghalaya, so that it could be an eye opener,’’ Agnes Kharshiing, a woman activist said. The women organisations would also demand a public apology from Lanong for making such a statement.

 
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