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VPP postures political agenda: NPP

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SHILLONG, May 20: The VPP’s acrimonious dispute about roster implementation at the all-party meeting called by the government on Friday has ruffled the feathers of the ruling NPP.
NPP State president WR Kharlukhi on Saturday said that there is political agenda behind the VPP’s demur over roster in the wake of the district council elections.
It may be recalled that the VPP MLAs staged a walkout from the all-party meeting. Moreover, the party announced an indefinite hunger strike from May 23, while raising the demand for a review of the reservation policy.
“There is a hidden political agenda …this issue was raised for the sake of politics in view of the district council elections. After all, politicians are politicians no matter how much you try to camouflage,” Kharlukhi, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said.
Kharlukhi questioned why the party functionaries were sent to attend the all-party meeting when the invitation for the all-party meeting was for the party president and general secretary.
“All presidents and general secretaries of the political parties were invited but their (the VPP’s) president was not present, he was shouting on the street,” Kharlukhi added.
Recalling what transpired at the meeting on Friday, Kharlukhi said that he had conveyed to the VPP leaders that the reservation policy was bound by Article 16 Clause 4 of the Constitution, which clearly mentions that the policy is aimed at the weaker sections of the society.
“I was expecting some answers or queries from them. I asked in which part of the Constitution is it said that the reservation policy is based on population. They (VPP) did not say anything and walked out. I was expecting the highly intellect people to clarify,” he added.
Stating that as MPs and MLAs they have sworn an oath to bear faith and allegiance to the Constitution, he said, “I do hope that their MLAs understand the oath. I expect them to base their demand as per the Constitution of India.”
It may however be mentioned that save VPP, majority of the parties including the TMC, BJP and Congress were satisfied with the government’s presentation at the all-party meeting as their doubts were cleared and they endorsed the government’s position on the matter.
Earlier, even Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma questioned the logic behind the VPP’s actions.
“I fail to understand where the VPP’s logic is coming from. First, they were talking about all the issues. Now, when we are clarifying (to them), they are bringing up another issue,” Sangma had said.
He said it is the VPP’s political decision to stage the hunger strike.
The government had on Friday decided to constituted a committee to study the roster system and address concerns. It also decided to put on hold all advertisements for new recruitment till the panel submits its report.
In the next one week, the government will meet different civil society stakeholders at different levels. It said it will call joint and individual meetings of all stakeholders on May 30 and 31.

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