Monday, April 22, 2024

Under fire, govt mum on ADC polls delay


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 3: Facing backlash after deciding to extend the tenure of the two Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), the NPP-led MDA 2.0 government, on Saturday, chose to remain silent despite the hammering by the Opposition Voice of the People Party (VPP) and its coalition ally, the BJP, which is asking the government to come clean on the move.
The VPP had alleged that there is a sense of insecurity in the ruling party owing to the massive wave of the party across Khasi and Jaintia Hills.
MDA Spokesperson Ampareen Lyngdoh on Saturday said she is “not authorised” to speak on the matter. “Right now, even if I am the spokesperson, I have not been briefed,” she said.
Lyngdoh, also a Cabinet Minister, said she will not jump the gun and that she is not the “competent authority to discuss this matter”.
Earlier, VPP spokesperson Batskhem Myrboh had stated that there is an understanding between the different political parties to delay the elections, and the ruling parties are trying to buy time with the hope that this current wave and the support of the people would die down.
Myrboh also claimed that the government’s decision to extend the tenure was illogical. “The constitution of the delimitation committee cannot be a ground for extension of the tenure of the ADCs. Why did the Council and the state government constitute the delimitation committee just before the end of the term?” he had questioned.
BJP seeks answers
The BJP, on the other hand, has asked the state government to come clean about its decision to extend the term of both the Houses of KHADC and JHADC.
Reacting to the move, BJP Spokesperson M Kharkhrang said that the government can extend the term with only valid reasons and if there is an emergency. “It has to spell out valid reasons on why the term was extended,” he said. He asked if the government would extend the term of the ADCs again, if the delimitation exercise is not completed within six months.
Pointing out that the people want clarity, Kharkrang said that the term of the two House cannot be extended on flimsy grounds.
Asked if he sees a political ploy behind the extension of the Councils’ terms, Kharkrang said there is a political reason for any move, including the delimitation exercise. It may be recalled that the decision to extend the KHADC and JHADC’s tenure was taken by the state Cabinet which met on Friday. It followed the Cabinet’s approval of the proposal for the extension of the terms of the incumbent Executive Committees of both ADCs.
According to the government, the decision was taken after the two ADCs had sent a proposal to the government seeking extension of time for the delimitation committees to finish their exercise. The District Council Affairs department examined the proposal and the Cabinet approved it.


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