By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The increasing trend of politicization of government schemes by traditional heads has raised the concern of the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), West Jaintia hills unit who on Friday demanded the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) to introduce rules prohibiting traditional heads from participating in politics.
“We demand the JHADC to introduce such rules that will prohibit and disallow the traditional chiefs from involving or taking part in politics,” HNYF-WJH president Wanbun N Dkhar told reporters here on Friday.
The demand came after complaints were leveled against the headmen of different villages for their involvement in politics leading to politicization of government schemes thereby depriving the deserving beneficiaries of their rights.
Stating that this kind of political affiliation has affected the people especially the poor, depriving them accessibility to government schemes like the NREGS, IAY, SRWP and others due to politicization, Dkhar said “Certain rules are much required to prevent these traditional headmen from interfering in government schemes.”
Dkhar further alleged that most of the headmen in the district one way or the other have political affiliation with political parties while referring to Khliehtyrsi village under Jowai constituency as one of the villages.
Ruing the fact that the JHADC functionaries has failed to come up with new rules, the HNYF leader said that new rules are very much needed and required to streamline the style of functioning of these traditional headmen. “Since 2010, the district council has failed to introduce any new rules for the well being of the society,” Dkhar said.
Demanding for the need to introduce an election system to the post of a headman, Dkhar said “It is high time that the district council introduce elections for the selection of headmen in the villages,” adding that by having an election process for the selection of a headman will further bring in transparency and accountability in the functioning of the traditional institutions in the region.
The HNYF, however, said that they are not against the headmen who desire to affiliate or contest in any elections but before joining any political parties; they should resign from their posts.
Meanwhile, the HNYF informed that would soon submit a representation on this regard to the district council. “We would send a representation to the JHADC chief on Monday next,” the president said.