Tura(Meghalaya), Aug 25: Various NGOs from the Garo Hills region, including the GSU, FAF, FKJGP and ADE have expressed their resentment over the proposed amendment Bill to the 6th Schedule calling the same a strategic clandestine tinkering of the Indian Constitution for vote bank politics.
Asking for the eschewing of such communal politics, the NGOs said the implementation of the same could bring about serious altercations.
The NGO spoke about the inclusion of tribes of Garo Hills like the Koch, Boro, Hajong and Rabha tribes through the amendment of 6th Schedule.
“The move can have far reaching negative impacts and could disturb the peaceful co-existence. This is definitely going to create attrition between the Garos and other Hindu tribes of the region even going to the extent of forgoing issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigration,” they added.
The NGOs accused the BJP of vote bank politics adding that the party would sit back and gleefully monitor ethnic clashes in their desperate attempt to push forward their political agenda.
As per them, the move of the GOI to include the term ‘unrepresented tribes’ in “The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019” is a highly controversial decision.
“The struggle of the ANVC must be acknowledged as a cry of the Garos to be recognised and deserving of every right under the Indian Constitution to be prosperous, educated and developed but it must be development with protection as an indigenous tribe of Garo Hills,” they felt.
As per the new amendment the governor will nominate 6 members, 2 of whom will be women and 4 will be nominated from the ‘unrepresented tribes’.
“This was discussed many times in various meetings with the state government and the officials from the Home Ministry where NGOs of Meghalaya under the umbrella of MITCRM objected to it again and again. There is no law to debar Koch, Hajong and Rabhas from participating and contesting in the GHADC which means they have equal rights under the 6th Schedule,” asserted the NGOs.
They opined that in every GHADC election at least 2 persons from these tribes were chosen as MDCs. Adding 4 nominated members will unfairly take the number to 6.
“If they want nomination as unrepresented tribes then they must not contest in the GHADC elections. They are represented tribes because they have MDCs in the GHADC and yet claim themselves as unrepresented tribes. How is this contradictory logic and reasoning possible,” they asked.
Appealing to the chief minister, Conrad Sangma and the GHADC CEM to oppose the amendment, the NGOs stated that they would go ahead with agitations otherwise.
“We are privy to the knowledge that the last meeting on the issue of amendment of the 6th Schedule is to be held as the GOI has given directions for the final decision on the matter from the Govt of Meghalaya and the ADCs to be submitted,” the NGOs added.