Conrad says Garo bill not aimed at Mukul

NPP cries foul over administrator’s rule in GHADC

SHILLONG: With the Cabinet recommending administrator’s rule in GHADC, the fourth time since 2014, NPP leader Conrad Sangma cried foul over the stand of the government and made it clear that the Garo Customary Law Bill was not aimed at the chief minister.
Last week, the NPP-led Executive Committee of GHADC collapsed soon after the controversial Garo Customary Bill was passed.
The Bill restricts the definition of Garo as born of purely Garo parents.
Critics had cited that the Bill was intended to target the chief minister whose ST status case is pending in the Supreme Court.
Following the collapse of the NPP-led EC, the Congress projected the chairman of GHADC, Boston Marak, from NPP as the next leader.
Though the Congress-led MUA-II Government first recommended the Governor to fix the election of the CEM on Monday, in a late realisation, the cabinet went in favour of the administrator’s rule.
Usually, the tenure of administrator’s rule is six months.
GHADC’s tenure was earlier extended by six months from February 18, 2014, to pave way for the finalisation of agreed text for settlement with ANVC-ANVC-B groups.
Yet again on August 17, 2014, the tenure was extended for another six months citing delay on the part of the Centre to give nod to the increase of seats in the Council as per the agreement with ANVC and ANVC-B
The cabinet again extended the council tenure for another six months from February 17, 2015.
Commenting on the fresh administrator’s rule, Conrad said, “It shows that there is some confusion on the part of the government. This kind of thing was done in the past too by the government and the Congress-led Government is trying to interfere in the affairs of GHADC by way of imposition of administrator’s rule.”
To a question on the Customary Bill, the Tura MP said he was not aware of the development that led to the passing of the Bill.
“However, one thing is clear, codification of the customary practices is the need of the hour and everyone agrees to this,” he said.
The NPP leader said he did not see the copy of the Bill and reiterated that he was not aware of the decision of GHADC though the EC is led by NPP.
“The EC got the power to codify the customary practices in its true spirit, but as far as the customary law is concerned, it required extensive discussion so that it becomes stronger. A bit more consultation should have been there before passing the Bill,” he said and added that there are many options, including formation of the House Committee and prior discussion within the EC.
To a question whether the Bill was intended for the chief minister, Conrad said, “No, I do not think so. There is no reason to blame. The aim was over all interest of Garo people, but some fine-tuning of the Bill was required.”

Fourth administrator’s rule in three years in GHADC

First extension for six months:     Feb 18, 2014
Second extension:     Aug 17, 2014
Third extension:     Feb 17, 2015
Election to GHADC:     Oct 12, 2015
Fourth recommendation for extension:     Mar 31, 2017