SHILLONG, March 8: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul M Sangma called upon the Union Home Minister Rajth Singh on Saturday evening to take up various pending issues of the state to be tabled before the Union government the chief among them being the Amendment to the Sixth Schedule with reference to Meghalaya and the constitution of the Border Commission among many others.
During the course of the meeting the Chief Minister stated that in the Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed with ANVC, one of the clauses provided for raising the number of seats in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) thus extending the term of GHADC twice to facilitate addition of seats.
Dr Sangma added that in response to the advice of Ministry of Home Affairs, North East Division the state government has further extended the term of GHADC with effect from February 18 this year to August 17.
He urged the Union Minister that it is imperative that the amendment to the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution to raise the number of seats in the Autonomous District Councils be taken up during the on-going Budget Session of the Parliament so that the election to GHADC could be held within the extended period.
It may be mentioned that the state government had agreed to the proposal for increasing the number of seats in GHADC from the existing 30 to 40 of which 35 would be elected and 5 would be nomited while in respect of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council the state government was of the view that only the nomited seats may be increased from the existing one to five seats.
Referring to the inter-state boundary tussle with Assam the Chief Minister reiterated the request to constitute the Boundary Commission and also to evolve an institutiol mechanism to resolve the vexed boundary problem between the states and requested the Central Government to consider and act on the matter seriously in view of the sensitivities involved and the recent developments along the Assam-galand border.
While expressing grave concern on insurgency in the state especially Garo Hills region being the worst affected by insurgency Dr Sangma felt the pressing need to strengthen and upgrade police establishment and infrastructure in the state and especially in the Garo Hills range to be considered by the Home Ministry on priority.
The Chief Minister also stated that given the new challenges to the interl security, to maintain law and order, to effectively tackle the rising trend of insurgency and to also offer useful employment opportunity to the youth of the state and wean them away from the ill influences of militant groups the proposal of the state government to raise two additiol battalions of IRBn in Meghalaya for which all the necessary measures by the state government to comply with the conditions laid down by MHA have been fulfilled be now considered and approved expeditiously. The meeting also discussed a number of issues pertaining to interl security matters and stressed the need for concerted efforts by all state governments of the North Eastern region with active support from the Union government in dealing comprehensively with the root cause of insurgency problems in the region.
The setting up of residential schools cum training centers in the border areas with the objective of creating sustaible opportunities of employment for the youth of the region and expanding the scope of the special program for Indo Bangladesh border was also discussed by Dr Sangma with the Union Home Minister.