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Implementation of ANVC pact can resolve ‘rift’, says Bernard

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SHILLONG, June 19: State BJP vice president and Tura MDC, Bernard N Marak, has raised concerns over the decade-long delay in implementing the agreed text settlement signed between the central government, state government, and the ANVC and ANVC-B groups.
Marak claimed that this delay had been exacerbating tensions between Meghalaya’s three major communities through the existing reservation policy.
Marak pointed out that it has been ten years since the agreement was signed, with promises to transfer several departmental responsibilities to district councils. “The delay in implementing the agreed terms is creating rifts between the major communities of Meghalaya because the district councils were supposed to be strengthened, leading to job opportunities within the three district councils,” he said.
He further explained that if the agreement had been practically implemented, each district council could have focused on its respective community, thereby alleviating issues arising from the reservation policy. “If not 100 percent, at least 80-85 percent employment would have been created and allocated to the respective local tribes, reducing conflicts,” Marak stated.
Marak criticised the current state mechanism, highlighting that the agreed 40-40 ratio for Garos and Khasi-Jaintias has not been maintained, largely due to political interference. He argued that this political meddling has led to imbalances and instability among the communities, who now feel insecure about their share of opportunities.
He lamented that political leaders have historically manipulated appointments for their gain, ignoring the merit-based system.
“Even the 40-40 ratio would have been satisfactory without political interference, but it has created an imbalance, causing instability between the communities,” he said.
Marak also cast aspersions on former political leaders for their ‘short-sightedness’, which has led to legal challenges and revealed disparities in the reservation system.
“Garos are now expecting to fill up the backlog, which has been unfair to the Garo community,” he noted, placing blame on political manipulations rather than community actions.
Suggesting a way forward, Marak emphasised the need to focus on strengthening the autonomous district councils as per the agreement signed 10 years ago.
“We should focus on strengthening the three district councils constitutionally given to us and transferring all departments supposed to be moved from the state to the councils, thereby creating more jobs for our communities,” he concluded.

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