In an unprecedented incident, Meghalaya Home Minister James Sangma was caught on camera indulging in a verbal spat with the media at the State Secretariat in Shillong. This is, however, not the first time the Home Minister, who is also the Chief Minister's elder brother has displayed such strong sentiments and inappropriate comments in public.
It has been learnt that Home Minister James Sangma was approached for an interview by the media in the State capital of Meghalaya on Monday, January 6, after which he lashed out at a journalist. Sangma came face-to-face with him in order to confront.
The incident occurred at 5:30 pm when journalists were waiting to question Sangma concerning the current law and order situation in Shillong and also the ongoing load shedding in the capital. Eight journalists had sought an appointment but were all denied, Sangma had informed his assistant to inform the media that he was not available for any interviews. While journalists waited outside Sangma's chamber to interview, things took an ugly turn.
When journalists greeted Sangma while he was exiting from his chamber and was requested for a five-minute interaction, one of the senior journalists had shaken hands with the Minister and bent forward to hug him. Sangma brushed-off the journalist and said, " What the hell are you doing?" and walked away. To which the journalist responded, "Who the hell do you think of yourself?" Sangma walked up to the journalist and asked what his problem was. While the journalist questioned the Minister for his behaviour and said he wasn't blocking his way, the Minister who was stopped by his assistant later walked away without a comment.
The media fraternity and the concerned citizens of Meghalaya have condemned the incident. Speaking to Republic Media Network, Roshan Rai, a television journalist said it was very unbecoming of the Home Minister. "We had high regards for him not only as a young minister but also as the son of the legendary PA Sangma. But his behaviour is not what PA Sangma would have loved." It may be mentioned that, unlike James Sangma, his younger brother and Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is known as one of the most easily accessible Chief Ministers of the country. Civil society and the media fraternity of Meghalaya have demanded an apology from the Home Minister for his unruly behaviour.