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VPP accepts to be part of committee on roster and reservation policy but Ardent to continue fast

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Shillong, May 31: Opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit on Tuesday refused to break his fast and decided to wait for the outcome of the meeting called by the government re-constituted committee of all political parties to discuss on roster system and reservation policy on Wednesday.

The committee headed by Minister in-charge Law Ampareen Lyngdoh has been asked to finalise the implementation of the reservation roster and discuss the reservation policy and submit its recommendation to the government within one month.

The government’s decision to include discussion of the reservation policy was after the VPP had refused to be part of the committee on roster system constituted earlier.

Basaiawmoit has been fasting for the past eight days to pressurize the government to immediately review the 1972 job reservation policy of the state.

Addressing hundreds of students, who came marching to the parking lot to extend their full support to him, the VPP chief announced that his party has decided to attend the meeting called by the Ampareen-led panel and maintained, “But our goal is that the government should agree to review the reservation policy failing which I will not leave this place and I will continue my hunger protest.”

“It doesn’t mean just because the government invite us for talks on reservation policy that we will wrap up this protest and go back home, no, but we will wait for the outcome of the meeting,” Basaiawmoit said while adding that the indefinite hunger strike will continue if the outcome of the meeting is not satisfactory.

Urging the Hynniewtrep people to stand united on this issue, the VPP chief said, “I will not allow negative forces to mislead the people and any attempt to divide us or to the extent of spoiling this movement. We should get what we demanded and that is to review the reservation policy.”

The 3-time Nongkrem legislator also reminded the people that the Khynriam, Pnar, Bhoi, War, Maram and Lyngngam belong to one community ‘Khasi’.

Stating that the VPP’s objective is review, restore and transform the state, Basaiawmoit said, “We don’t want to walk blindly like we did in the past 50 years. The VPP has a clear vision and has many things to do to reform the state and this (demand to review the reservation policy) is just the beginning and we will also win.”

According to him, the VPP is also preparing to wage war against corruption which is affecting the youth today.

Further, the VPP chief also asked the people, who are supporting the demand for reviewing the job reservation policy, not to take the path of violence.

“Strong support is very much needed but the support through violence will defeat the objective of our protest,” he said.

“The government will be happy if there is a law and order breakdown through this protest. Therefore, we should not fall into such a trap of the government. We may be angry and feel bad for Ardent who has been fasting for the past 8 days but we should not choose the path which will lead us to the government’s trap. We will refrain ourselves from the path of violence,” he also added.

Expressing confidence that they will win this struggle for a just and fair reservation policy, Basaiawmoit said, “I have no doubt that the government is not blind to see that the agitation is not confined only here in this parking lot but it is across the Khasi Jaintia region. People have come to this venue from across the region.”

He said, through the protest, the North East region and the entire country will see the unity of the Hynniewtrep people. “That saying that the Khasis can never be united will end from today and we will go to the world as united Hynniewtrep people,” Basaiawmoit added.


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