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NE tribal councils demand redrafting of 6th schedule amendment

Tribal autonomous councils in the north-east today sought redrafting of the amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution saying they being stakeholders were not consulted.



Shillong: Tribal autonomous councils in the north-east today sought redrafting of the amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution saying they being stakeholders were not consulted.

"No suggestions have been sought from any of the autonomous councils before the final draft was released by the ministry of home affairs. The MHA should re-draft the amendment in consultation with all the councils concerned," Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chief executive member P N Syiem told reporters here.

The final draft of the amendment released by MHA was without any consultation with the stakeholders and there are many inputs and suggestions that ought to be included and excluded, he said.

Syiem was also elected chairman of Forum of Councils under the Sixth Schedule (FOCUSS) at a meeting of representatives from all autonomous district councils in the north eastern states held here during the day. Assam's Dima Hasao Autonomous District Council chief executive member Debojeet Thaosen was elected secretary.

He said FOCUSS representatives would meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh soon to discuss the issue.

MHA should constitute a committee with representatives of all autonomous councils to re-draft the amendments, FOCUSS members said.

"We are raising this question because till now when the final draft has been released by MHA, no suggestion has been sought from any of the autonomous councils," Thaosen said.

The chief executive members of autonomous councils from Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya attended the meeting. Tripura council, which was absent, had informed that it would support any decision taken in it.

Among the other issues discussed at the meeting were direct funding of the councils under Article 280 of Constitution as is the case with panchayats, Syiem said.

The FOCUSS leaders also said that they are sending a memorandum to the union home minister to apprise him and the ministry that the north east autonomous councils were left out when funds were allocated under the 14th Finance Commission.

While the councils in Meghalaya said Para 12(A) of the Sixth Schedule be removed in the amended bill, the Maras and Chakmas district councils in Mizoram said they wanted autonomy and their names be changed to territorial council.

From Zee News

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