SHILLONG, Nov 5: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has given commitment to the Village Headmen under the Synjuk ki Nongsynshar ka Bri u Hynniewtrep (SNBH) to facilitate the assent of the Village Administration Bill (VAB) passed by the two Autonomous District Councils (ADCS) of the state with a month.
Mukul Sangma gave the commitment to expeditiously pursue the matter pertaining to the VAB that constitutiol empower the Traditiol heads during a three-hour meeting held at the State Secretariat on Thursday.
Flanked by six cabinet Ministers and attended by a thirty member strong contingent of the SNBH, the meeting dwelt on the importance of constitutiolly empowering the traditiol heads whose wings were clipped after the High Court order.
The Village Administration Bills (VABs) were passed by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHAC) and The Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) to provide the legal status to the Village Headmen.
Both the legislations are awaiting the Governor’s nod.
While the leaders of the SNBH gave the Government a one month time, the Chief Minister stated, “We will aggressively pursue with the Governor and the Union Home Ministry within this month but it depends on their wisdom on whether they will return it back for further amendments”, even as he pointed at the possible contradictions of the clauses of the VABs with those of the Constitution.
The Chief Minister succumbed to the SNBH demands to exclude the sixth scheduled areas from the Meghalaya Building bye-laws. Even as he clarified on the intention of the government to include the areas within and outside the city limits to live up with the safety standards, Sangma virtually succumbed to the demands that the Meghalya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) should not encroached in the sixth schedule areas controlled by the District Councils.
“The MUDA By-laws will only be effective in the Municipal areas”, announced Mukul Sangma in front of the Village headmen.
Interestingly, the SNBH were also vocal with their opposition to the Government legislation that prohibits the holding of dual posts by the elective representatives.
Although, the Headmen called themselves as apolitical, their clamor to do away with the act has raised eyebrows. The Chief Minister categorically stated that the act is in place and it depends on the wisdom elected members of the Assembly and the District Councils to decide on the post that they wanted ho hold. The Chief Executive Member of the KHADC and sitting two-time Congress MLA Pynsngain N Syiem has been a vocal critic of the Chief on these issues.