The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government held a meeting today where all its MLAs were shown a presentation on the controversial roster system that is to be used to administer the state’s job reservation policy.
Cabinet ministers were shown the presentation yesterday and an all-party meeting will be held on the subject tomorrow, followed by one that takes in various stakeholder groups next week.
Witnessing 100 percent attendance of the treasury bench’s MLAs, the presentation was held at Secretariat here and the meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.
Speaking to reporters, the CM said that queries were raised by the MLAs present and some suggestions were also put forward.
“The entire concept of the roster system is complicated in nature, so they had lots of queries and we tried to clarify as much as possible,” Sangma said. “To a large extent they have been able to grasp the points. Tomorrow we will continue the meetings and we will have an all-party meeting and once we have that discussion, a press conference will be held.”
The CM asserted that the roster system is not meant to benefit any community but only to ensure implementation of the reservation system in letter and spirit.
Downplaying speculation that the roster system will benefit the Garo community and disadvantage the Khasi-Jaintias, Sangma said that a roster system has to be in place for the implementation of the reservation policy and this should have been done 51 years ago when the job quotas were put in place.
He explained that the roster allows for a particular post meant for a certain community to go to a member of that community itself.
Sangma also took time out to explain what exactly the roster system is and why opposition parties are wrong to oppose talking about the roster while leaving the reservation policy alone.
“It’s incorrect. Reservation is a different subject and reservation without a roster is meaningless,” he said.
He explained that the roster system allows for the implementation of the reservation policy in letter and spirit and allows the exact schedule of the posts to be appointed.
“That’s what the roster is and hence a reservation policy without a roster will not implement the reservation policy in letter and spirit,” he emphasised.
The Chief Minister also made it clear that the government right now is not going to discuss the broader concept of the job reservation policy as it would prefer to try to resolve the issue of the roster system.
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