Meghalaya: District councils against erosion of powers

Shillong: Autonomous district councils of Meghalaya under the banner of Meghalaya Autonomous District Council Forum on Monday decided to oppose legislations that would erode the powers and functions of the councils and subsequently lead to holding of municipal elections.

The state government had tried to hold to municipal elections in Meghalaya, but had to abandon its plans due to strong opposition from organizations and traditional bodies who felt the municipalities would erode the power and functions of the traditional bodies.

Chief Executive Member of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Pynshngain M Syiem said the state government recently passed two important legislations - The Draft Amendment Assam and Meghalaya Autonomous Districts (Constitution of District Council) Rule 1951 and Draft Meghalaya Village Councils Act-2011.

"We will oppose these acts, as they would erode the powers and functions of the councils as enshrined in the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution," he said.

Pointing the loopholes of the new legislations, Syiem said the councils would not like to see that the autonomous bodies would be easily dissolved by the a mere order of the state government on flimsy ground.

"We strongly oppose the state government in allowing the Deputy Commissioner to dissolve the autonomous district councils. The council members have been elected by the people," Syiem said.