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Shylla named new KHADC chief as rival skips election

SHILLONG: NPP MDC Hispreaching Son Shylla became the new chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Friday even as his rival, Grace Mary Kharpuri, was absent.
Teilinia Thangkhiew, the pro-tem chairperson presiding over the election, named Shylla as the CEM “since Grace Mary Kharpuri, who is a candidate, did not take part in the election”.
At this point, UDP MDC Antonio War pointed out that they have not received the withdrawal letter from Kharpuri and asked her on whether there is a need to conduct the voting process.
Thangkhiew said Kharpuri’s absence is akin to withdrawal of her candidature.
After the members’ felicitation speeches, Thangkhiew quoted Rule 123 of the Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Districts (Constitution of District Councils) Rules, 1951, — which states, “the chairman shall have power to regulate the conduct of business in the district council in all matters not provided for in the Constitution or these rules” — to clarify how Kharpuri’s candidature was considered withdrawn.
Shylla was the candidate of the Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance, which was recently formed by rebel MDCs. Kharpuri filed her nomination as a candidate of the People’s Democratic Alliance.
Adelbert late,
Mawsor absent
Taking a dig at KHNAM’s Adelbert Nongrum for coming late for the election, Shylla said he did not honour time.
He criticised Nongrum for his “slackness and irresponsibility” and said the conditions set by the KHNAM leader for supporting Shylla would be discussed again “as the agreement has become null and void”.
The agreement was that all the 17 MDCs would reach the opposition room at 10.30 am but Nongrum arrived at the session after the pro-tem chairman had announced the election to the post of CEM. “If there was voting, he would not have been able to vote,” Shylla said.
Morning Mawsor, who extended support to the rebel alliance, was absent on the day of voting. Later, he was together at a separate meeting convened by the opposition party, People’s Democratic Front (PDF).
Corruption charges
Shylla made corruption charges against his predecessor, PN Syiem, alleging that Syiem would ask contractors to pay him 20 per cent commission out of the Rs 28 crore.
The Rs 28 crore was received as grant by the council from the Centre, which was alleged to have been used by Syiem for council assets.
“Some of the contractors told me that the former CEM was asking 20 percent commission for every work order from the Rs 28 crore,” he said.
Shylla said Kharpuri had demanded CBI inquiry against PN Syiem for the alleged Rs 28-crore scam and she would be called for giving her statement.
“It (the statement) will be given to PN Syiem on what Kharpuri has to say about it. Syiem is responsible for the amount as CEM since he did not take the matter to the EC,” Shylla said.
List of EMs today
Shylla said he is likely to send the list of Executive Members to the governor on Saturday.
Speaking after his election, Shylla said he would ensure transparency in the functioning of the district council.
He added that the office of the KHADC should be opened from 10 am to 5 pm and not beyond 5 pm to ensure that there is no gambling or drinking in the office or on its premises.
Shylla also spoke about the indigenous communities taking their father’s title despite being a matrilineal society, “We are known as matrilineal society and not patrilineal society. If in a matrilineal society there are those who take the title from their father, then what it is? Mapa-lineal?”
Stating that he has written to the Centre on uranium mining, he asserted that any EC in the KHADC should discuss the issue of uranium mining in the House and requested the state government to pass a similar resolution in the Assembly that government departments should not take up uranium-related matters unless it is discussed in the Assembly.
Turning to the recent death of a minor after she resisted rape attempts, Shylla said the KHADC should monitor so that such incidents do not happen again.
On the issue of the settlers of Harijan Colony, Shylla asserted that the matter should be governed by the rules of law.
“Municipal workers are less. The illegal settlers should be removed not by any route but by following the due process of law. You go to a civil court to evict them, whether you are a Khar metor or Khasi or whoever you are but you settle illegally there,” he added.

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