SHILLONG, May 21: The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government may be reluctant to endorse the Village Administration Bill, 2014, but the newly installed Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) Pynshngain Manik Syiem, who is also from the Congress, has backed the bill claiming that it was passed by a Congress-ruled council.
A day after Chief Minister Mukul Sangma indicated that his government was in mood to endorse the Bill, PM Syiem, a two-time Congress MLA and MDC who was elected as the new CEM of the Congress-led Executive Committee (EC), told The Sentinel on Thursday, "The Village Administration Bill was first passed by our Congress-led Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA) and I stick by it".
Presently leading a Congress-led executive committee with a rechristened me of People's Democratic Front (PDF), Syiem said, "My stand is still the same on the VAB that deals with the empowerment of the traditiol institutions".
Asked specifically about the contention of the government that the KHADC legislation contradicts the central and state government laws, the CEM said, "Let the State government first facilitate the way for the Governor's assent. As it is, Section 12 (a) of the Sixth Schedule allows the law of the state to prevail if there is any conflict with the laws ected by the district councils".
Pointed to the fact that the government has already passed an ordince to empower the traditiol institutions while keeping the VA Bill in abeyance, Syiem stated, "An ordince is only a first-aid…Look at the larger picture…Endorse the VA bill and if needed, further amendments can be taken up". He, however, refused to endorse the notion that his views were in contraction to those of the State government.