Village headmen in Meghalaya want role in municipal board
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010, 20:19
Shillong: With the Meghalaya government planning to hold the first ever municipal elections in the state, traditional village headmen today said their role in the municipal boards should first be 'clearly defined'.

Apprehending that their powers would be diluted once the municipal boards were constituted through election, the headmen also demanded amendments in the Meghalaya Municipal Act.

"Certain sections pertaining to elections in the Meghalaya Municipal Act should be reviewed. Also the relation between the headmen and the municipal boards should be clearly defined," Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong, an organization of the headmen, told Urban Affairs Minister Prestone Tynsong during a meeting.

Tynsong said the government would constitute a committee, comprising headmen and departmental officials, to study the demands and give suggestions.

There has been opposition from certain quarters to the proposed municipal elections in the state.

A writ petition filed by the Jaintia Tribal Traders Association before the Gauhati High Court challenging the proposed conduct of elections to the Jowai Municipal Board was dismissed on August 25, giving the government the liberty to conduct the elections.

The Gauhati High Court has meanwhile admitted a similar petition by the Garo Students Union which challenged the municipal polls contending that following the 1992 amendment in the Constitution, panchayat and municipal provisions did not extend to the tribal areas which were under the Sixth Schedule.

Earlier, the government announced that elections to the offices of ward commissioners of four municipal boards in the three districts of Garo hills will be held on September 29.

The move to hold the first civic polls in the state has been initiated in a bid to avail the benefit of the ambitious Jawarhalal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

Since the Supreme Court Notification in 2000, there have been at least two attempts to hold the civic body election in the state, but on both occasions the government could not go ahead due to opposition from certain quarters on the ground that such an attempt will dilute the credibility of the traditional institutions in the state.

There has been no municipal election in the state since it attained statehood and nominated administrator of the state government govern the municipality boards.

After the Supreme Court directed the state government to hold the municipal elections following a petition filed by the Non Tribal Youth Union, the government in November 2000 issued notifications for holding elections.

Only one person, a Shillong-based businessman, Ananta Dey, filed nominations. He was shot dead by suspected militants.


First Published: Monday, August 30, 2010, 20:19

comments powered by Disqus