The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has been left upset after the Parliamentary Standing Committee turned down most of its recommendations on the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The amendment will increase the number of MDCs in the council, as well as that of the Jaiñtia and Garo councils (JHADC and GHADC), partly by including nominated MDCs from so-called unrepresented tribes, ie those native to Meghalaya but not represented in the councils.
“The report we saw on the website of the parliament issued in March 2020 clearly shows that the Parliamentary Standing Committee has turned down most of the recommendations sent by the KHADC on the proposed amendment of the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule,” Chief Executive Member Titostarwell Chyne told reporters today.
Informing that the council has written to the state government and Union Home Ministry last month and expressed their opposition on the matter, he said, “The Parliamentary Standing Committee did not listen to us to exclude the word “unrepresented” tribes in the proposed Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill and to straight away use the word ‘Nominated MDC’.”
The amendment would mean that the KHADC (or Khasi Hills Autonomous Territorial Council as it would be known by its new name) will consist of not more than 40 members, of whom 36 will be elected and four would be nominated by the Governor, of whom at least two will be women and at least two will be from the unrepresented tribes, such as the Koch, Hajong, Rabha, etc.
“We are very sad and oppose this term ‘unrepresented tribes’ because this could hinder the smooth functioning of the KHADC sessions that always discuss and debate in the Khasi language. We feel that if non-Khasis are nominated as MDC in the district council then the very spirit of the KHADC, which is of the Khasi, by the Khasi for the Khasi, will be defeated,” Chyne said.
The KHADC also opposed the idea of village and municipal councils and instead wanted the Dorbar Shnongs recognized. It also wanted the three municipal areas of Shillong to be included within the ambit of the council.
Chyne said that the three district councils in the state will meet so that they can arrive at a joint representation to present to the central government on the matter.