Tura(Meghalaya), Aug 31: The Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE) has urged the State and Central governments to hold discussions with all stakeholders, including people of the region and various NGOs before making a decision on the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule.
ADE, through a press release yesterday, Aug 30 felt that discussions of the issue of amendment of 6th Schedule was absolutely necessitated as every aspect of it would have huge ramifications on the tribal population of tribals.
“We should consider the various outcomes that are likely to spring from these amendments. This could affect the traditional social fabric of our people in the long run. It is of utmost importance that any alteration in the 6th Schedule should not affect the rights of the tribal people in Meghalaya,” felt ADE president, Dalseng B Ch Momin.
He reminded that the final tripartite agreement was signed between the Central Govt, the State Govt. Assam / Meghalaya / Chief Minister of Mizoram/ MP of Mizoram/ UPDS, DHD and A’chik National Volunteer Council (ANVC) leading to peace in the region.
“It brought the region to a standstill and many lives were lost. Peace was achieved after ANVC abandoned their demand of Greater Garoland and came for talks. The final agreement offered this amendment promising more power, more funds and more development to the people within the sixth schedule region,” he added.
ADE however felt that the proposed amendment by the BJP government at the centre is a deep rooted conspiracy to destroy the power structure of the ‘Traditional Governing System’ existing at the grassroots in Garo Hills. The present move, he felt, was an attempt to ‘strip the powers and functions’ of the local bodies, existing since long.
“The Constitution clearly mentions that Municipal Boards and Councils cannot co-exist within District Councils. We oppose the proposal for forming village and municipal councils as it would be like holding Panchayati elections in a Sixth Schedule area,” added the ADE president.
Lastly he felt that the current proposal to increase MDC numbers to 42 was an inflated one and 35 (with 2 nominations) would be the ideal number to run the GHADC efficiently.