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Panchayat scheme in Nongthymmai worries MDC

Govt silent on the matter: Latiplang

SHILLONG: Nongthymmai MDC Latiplang Kharkongor has expressed concern over the impending threat to traditional institutions with the introduction of Gram Sabha schemes under the Ministry of Panchayat.
Kharkongor, who is also the KHADC Executive Member in-charge Land, Mines and Minerals, told reporters on Thursday that a Gram Sabha scheme, My Village My Plan, has been introduced in Nongthymmai Pyllun and this has confused the Dorbar Shnong.
According to him, schemes which are not from the Ministry of Panchayat are acceptable and those under the ministry should be opposed as the state falls under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
Asserting that the position of the headman will be redundant under the Gram Sabha, Kharkongor said Dorbar Shnong should not accept the schemes from Gram Sabha committee.
All Dorbar Shnong have been directed through the office of the Block Development Officer to form Gram Sabha Committees.
Pointing to the provision of reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Panchayati Raj system, Kharkongor said, “We the indigenous people under the Gram Sabha Committee will be under the reservation category. We cannot accept this.”
As per the Constitution, Gram Sabha means a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of Panchayat at the village level.
Pointing out that elections will be held under the Gram Sabha, he raised a concern that people other than the indigenous community will take part in the elections as envisaged in the Constitution.
“In a mixed population, there will certainly be a demand from other communities to contest the election to be members of the Gram Sabha,” he said.
The Gram Sabha schemes were introduced directly to the Dorbar Shnong without any information to the district council.
“Many areas are confused and we want to seek clarification from the state government and the council. The state government is presently silent on the matter,” Kharkongor said.
Earlier, former minister and Congress leader Ronnie Lyngdoh had said there were talks about bringing in the panchayat system and the Congress would oppose the move.

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