The Meghalaya government has recommended increasing the number of seats for the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and appointment of traditional heads as chairmen of the village councils.
The recommendations were approved by the Meghalaya cabinet which discussed the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India in Shillong on January 28.
Addressing the reporters, chief minister Conrad Sangma said the state government has proposed that the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) will have not more than 40 members.
“Out of this, 4 will be nominated and the rest will be elected through adult suffrage,” he said.
The Meghalaya chief minister informed that the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) will not have more than 32 members out of which not more than 2 will be nominated while the rest will be elected through adult suffrage.
Regarding the village councils, Sangma said the cabinet has proposed that the village councils will be elected but the chairmen will be the traditional heads including rangbah shnong, sordars and nokmas.
“The chairman of every village council will be the rangbah shnong or the sordar or the nokma while the other members will be elected as per the provisions,” he said.
The Meghalaya chief minister further informed that the two recommendations have been made after thorough consultations and discussions with the different stakeholders including the ADCs.
“These suggestions have come from the ADCs and accordingly, the state government will be submitting these proposals to the Government of India in the next few days,” he said while assuring that he would also visit New Delhi to discuss the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Sangma maintained that the number of seats should not be more than 40 for KHADC and GHADC adding if they want to have 35 or 36 that is up to them but there will be a process for doing that.
On the proposed move to nominate unrepresented tribes in the ADCs, the chief minister said that the matter was already discussed with the Government of India and MHA “and that particular clause will not be there (anymore).”