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Conrad-led ministerial delegation meets PM Modi, conveys govt’s decision on nomination of un-represented tribes to ADCs

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Shillong, Aug 8: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Government of Meghalaya’s stance on the nomination of un-represented tribes to Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

The Chief Minister, alongside Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Thomas A. Sangma and State Cabinet Ministers, called on PM Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum to the latter, seeking his intervention on matters such as ILP, externally funded projects, inclusion of inclusion of Khasi and Garo Language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and Assam – Meghalaya border dispute, among others

Conveying state’s views on Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019 highlighting concerns related to the nomination of un-represented tribes to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Meghalaya, CM Sangma said the State government has decided against this nomination after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, given concerns of unequal opportunity among tribes.

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In the memorandum presented to Prime Minister Modi, CM underlined the intricacies of the situation. He explained that Meghalaya consists of 17 major tribes, some of which have as many as 37 sub-tribes. With the proposed expansion of seats in the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), the ratio of seats to the number of tribes/sub-tribes raises concerns about the equitable distribution of nominated seats.

The memorandum expressed apprehensions that this disproportionate allocation might lead to inequality of opportunity among different tribes, potentially endangering the unity and fraternity they share.

Additionally, he emphasized that there is no reservation for seats filled by universal adult suffrage, and no ban on any tribe/sub-tribe participating in the election process—be it contesting or voting. Therefore, after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, the Government of Meghalaya has opted against the nomination of un-represented tribes to the ADCs.

CM Sangma also discussed the proposed increase in the number of seats in the ADCs as per the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019, which proposes:
1. GHADC: to increase seats from 30 to 42 members, with 36 elected and 6 nominated members.
2. KHADC: to increase seats from 30 to 40 members, with 36 elected and 4 nominated members.
3. JHADC: to increase seats from 30 to 34 members, with 30 elected and 4 nominated members.
However, Meghalaya government’s view is that the number of seats for JHADC should be increased to 32 instead of 34, based on the relative population and size compared to KHADC and GHADC.

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Further, the memorandum defined the revised categories for the nomination of members to the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Garo Autonomous District Council (GHADC):
1. Reputed Academician or Eminent Person in Education: Recognized by Central and/or State Government in the field of education or academic pursuit.
2. Reputed Sportsperson: Who has participated in, or represented the State at the national and international levels.
3. Reputed Woman Representative: Who has served the State in an administrative or judicial capacity, or has been a member of State Commissions, Authorities, Boards, or other Bodies set up by the Government in public interest.
4. Eminent Entrepreneur or Professional: Acknowledged for their achievements in the business or professional sectors
For the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC), the nomination categories are similar, with one member from the “Reputed Woman Representative” category and the other from the remaining categories.

Also Read: NEP 2020: HYC demands Shillong campus of Captain Williamson Sangma State University

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