War of words hots up

Metbah, Ardent dare Opp to open debate on VAB

ARPA chairman Metbah Lyngdoh convened a meeting to discuss on the VAB in the presence of former KHADC CEMs Ardent M Basaiawmoit and Adelbert Nongrum in Shillong on 02-06-15. Pix by UB Photos

SHILLONG: The war of words between the ruling alliance in KHADC -PDF and the Opposition alliance – ARPA over the KHAD (Village Administration) Bill, 2015 has intensified with the latter throwing a challenge for an open debate on the issue.
A day after the KHADC CEM Pynshngaiñ N Syiem alleged that the ARPA  was trying to gain political mileage by misleading people on the Bill, the ARPA chairman Metbah Lyngdoh said that his alliance was ready for an open debate on the issue.
The ARPA has decided to seek intervention of the Governor V Shanmuganathan for re-inclusion of the deleted clauses of the ‘rectified’ Bill.
“The ‘spirit of the Bill’ is totally defeated with the deletion of the Section 5 sub section 8 and 16. We feel that these two clauses should be retained to protect the interest of the indigenous community,” the ARPA chairman told newsmen after a meeting here on Tuesday.
The ARPA MDCs were against the deletion of sub section (XVI) of Section 5 (which says -“The EC in recognition of the customary practices  prevailing within the Hima(s) or Raid(s) or Village(s) may from time to time by notification prescribe the restrictions, terms and conditions of entry of a person other than a tribal native resident”).
Stating that the Opposition alliance will continue to oppose the deletion of these two clauses, he said
They would submit a representation to the Governor in this connection shortly.
“The governor will be informed how the PDF got the rectified VAB Bill passed in the House on May 30,” he said.
Echoing a similar view, the HSPDP vice-president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit has thrown an open challenge to the 16 MDCs of the PDF for an open debate where he will be able to prove his point that the original VAB was far better compared to the modified Bill.
“I am ready to have an open debate on the issue,” Basaiawmoit said while addressing a separate press meet here on Tuesday.
He said that he has no problem to attend open debate in the constituencies of Process T Sawkmie, KHADC CEM Pynshngaiñ N Syiem, Grace Mary Kharpuri and Banteidor.
“I would like people to know who is trying to gain political mileage,” the HSPDP vice-president said.
He further said that that the modified Village Administration Bill (VAB), 2015 gives power to the Rangbah Shnong and not the Dorbar Shnong.
He also said that the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) explanation that sub section 16 of section 5 was deleted since section 5 (A) (10) incorporates registration of inhabitants but the section does not say where will the registration be done.
Basaiawmoit interpreted that section 5 (A) (10) will register a person after he has settled and not vice versa.
“The objective of the Bill cannot be compromised with,” Basaiwmoit added.