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State’s language, ILP demands remain unheard; LS polls to play decisive role

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, April 6: The BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, backed by several political parties, has completed its second consecutive term in office but, to the dismay of Meghalaya, has continued to keep on the back burner the two most pressing demands of the hill state.
In 2018, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution, urging the central government to include Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. However, despite the passage of years, the Centre is yet to heed this demand.
Similarly, the issue of Inner Line Permit (ILP) also remains unresolved despite numerous reminders and discussions.
In 2019, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution, urging the Centre to introduce the ILP in Meghalaya. This demand, too, was treated no differently.
It was during the same year the BJP had secured a significant majority to form the government once again at the Centre.
Yet, to date, these demands remain unmet.
Various pressure groups from Meghalaya have time and again called on the Union Home Minister over the demands but to no avail. Similarly, high-level delegations have also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the matter several times only to be told that the demands are under review.
The efforts and persuasions, thus, have failed to produce the desired result.
With a new government at the Centre set to take office within a couple of months, only time will tell if these demands will be acknowledged or if they will continue to be overlooked.
Launch of state-level SVEEP programme
While Meghalaya continues to look forward to the electoral outcome and its bearing on the two major demands, several activities are being conducted to improve the voter turnout in the hill state in the run-up to the all-important Lok Sabha election.
On Saturday, the Election department, as part of its efforts in reaching out to the young electorates, launched the state-level SVEEP programme titled ‘Taking Youth and Democracy Together’.
In line with the programme, a friendly football match was played between Election XI team and Press XI team at Meghalaya Football Association.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary DP Wahlang said that election is a very important process in a democratic set-up like India.
Asking people to come out and vote in large numbers on April 19, the chief secretary also called for a peaceful and just election.
Chief Electoral Officer BDR Tiwari, on the other hand, highlighted the important role played by media in disseminating information about the electoral process.
Earlier, after a closely fought match, the Press XI won the match 1-0.
Meghalaya DGP LR Bishnoi, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner and other officials were also present on the occasion.

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