Thursday, February 29, 2024

NGOs want complete halt to voter’s enrolment process


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The agitating NGOs have expressed dissatisfaction with the State Government decision to remove the ‘Special Counter’ in all the offices of Deputy Commissioners and the Blocks.

“We are not satisfied with the decision of the Government to remove the ‘Special Counter’ by replacing it with the Facilitation Cell,” HNYF general secretary Sadon K Blah told reporters here on Friday.

According to Blah, whether it is a Facilitation Cell or a Special Counter, the main objective of setting up this channel is to facilitate the enrollment process in the voters list.

Maintaining that their primary stance is for the Government to stop the enrollment process in the electoral rolls, the HNYF leader said that they would not be satisfied with anything less.

“We fail to understand why the Government is so keen to abide by the directives of the Election Commission (EC) on this matter. We are all aware that there are many directives by the Centre or by any other Constitutional Autonomous bodies in the past which the State Government has not adhered to,” Blah said

Citing an example, HNYF leader said that the Government till date is yet to abide by the Centre’s directive of increasing the daily minimum wages and added that there are many directives of the Centre and even of the Court which the Government has failed to act upon.

Meanwhile, KSU president Daniel Khyriem also feels that having these ‘Special Counters’ or ‘Facilitation Cells’ is not bringing any benefit to the local indigenous population.

“We are all aware that the majority of people utilizing these facilities are people from outside the State. It is useless to have such kind of facilities in place if they do not serving the interests of the local people,” Khyriem said.

He also questioned the yardstick adopted by the EC with the different States of the North Eastern Region.

“If the EC could provide Assam with a special status of exempting the implementation of the EPIC, I do not think there should is a problem in giving the same status to Meghalaya,” the KSU leader said.

Meanwhile, FKJGP working president Joe Marwein said that the State Government should take up with the EC for recognizing the residential certificates issued by the Rangbah Shnong as authenticated documents for enrollment in the voter’s list.

“We call upon the Rangbah Shnong to issue residential certificates only to bonafide Indian citizens,” Marwein said and warned that the NGOs would keep a close watch to see that the Rangbah Shnong do not issue residential certificates to persons of doubtful identity.

He also appealed to the genuine non-tribals of the State to assist the NGOs to report to the concerned authorities if they come across any doubtful people.

Marwein further stated that the NGOs strongly object to the recognition of the certificates given by the Panchayats of other states as a valid documents for enrollment as voters.

Meanwhile, Khyriem said that they would be demanding from the Centre for scrapping of the Indo-Nepal Treaty, 1950 since it is difficult to differentiate the Nepalese of Indian origin and those who migrate from Nepal.

“There are strong possibilities that the Nepalese who are not of Indian origin manage to get themselves enrolled in the voter’s list,” the KSU president said.

The agitating NGOs have clarified they would go ahead with the three-day night road blockade starting from Monday 7 pm to 5 am the next day.


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