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Guv nod to GHADC term extension, Opp strikes

‘Holding of elections impracticable in current situation’

TURA: The Joint Opposition Alliance of political parties and Garo pressure groups literally shut down the entire functioning of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) for a day on Friday by picketing its offices even as the State government has extended the term of the current council for another six months.
A notification issued by the Governor, dated January 13, stated that the term of the current GHADC and its members was being extended for another six months with effect from February 18 up to August 17, 2015.
The notification also goes on to mention that it would be ‘impracticable’ to hold the council elections in the current situation.
“Circumstances still exist rending the holding of the election to the GHADC impracticable,” mentioned the notification from the Governor, a copy of which is available with The Shillong Times.
What circumstances exist is not mentioned in the notification.
The same order was issued by the Executive Committee of the GHADC on January 27.
The opposition alliance has raised objections to the repeated extension being given to the GHADC and has termed it ‘illegal’ while calling for a protest against the move.
Its first round of protest on Friday witnessed the picketing of the offices. The Joint Opposition Alliance has indicated that more agitations are on the way to demand for an early poll to the council.
Sources from the Joint Opposition Alliance revealed that the next round of protests could begin as early as the second week of next month.
“There won’t be any agitation in the first week of February because the ABDK Sobha is taking place. Whatever protests are chalked out will take place only after the conclusion of the religious event,” said a senior member of the alliance.
The annual A’chik Baptist Dalgipa Krima Sobha, held in the first week of February, witnesses the largest religious gathering in the Garo Hills as thousands of people attend the five-day event which culminates in an open air church service attended by devotees from Garo Hills, the North East and also from other countries. This year the event is taking place at Shyamnagar, near Phulbari, from Feb 4-8.

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