Meghalaya: Health minister Ampareen Lyngdoh attacked; security increased
The attacker caught the health minister off guard near the gate of her house, police sources said.

Shillong: The Meghalaya government has reconstituted a committee to review the state reservation policy in the backdrop of an indefinite hunger strike launched by the opposition Voice of the People’s Party (VPP) seeking changes to the existing reservation formula, an official said on Wednesday.

The committee was reconstituted on Tuesday and will hold a meeting with political parties on the issue on Wednesday, he said.

The committee will be headed by the state Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh.

A final decision on the reservation policy will, however, be taken only after Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma holds a meeting, his deputy Sniawbhalang Dhar told PTI on Wednesday.

“The issue is sensitive and needs to be discussed at length. However, it should not be discussed in the streets but across the table … The government will take a decision with the best interests of the people and the state in mind,” he said.

The VPP is raking up the reservation issue, which does not have the support of the other parties, he claimed.

The party is demanding the review of the “outdated and unfair” job reservation policy in existence in the state. A hunger strike by its president Ardent Basaiawmoit here, on the issue entered its ninth day on Wednesday.

The party, which has four MLAs in the 60-member House, is demanding a review of the 40:40 job reservation for Khasi-Jaintia community and Garos. The party claims that the population of the Khasis has increased and hence there was a need for a review.

The committee invited the agitating VPP MLAs for talks on Wednesday, which was promptly refused.

Basaiawmoit said the agitation will be withdrawn only if the government expresses its readiness to review the 1972 job reservation policy which awarded 40 per cent of reserved jobs to Garos, 40 per cent for Khasi-Jaintia tribes, 5 per cent for other tribes and 15 per cent for general category candidates. “Our stand was made clear to the government. I will not leave the venue (of the hunger strike) till the government agrees to review the job reservation policy”, he said.

Dhar criticised Basaiawmoit’s absence at the all-political party meeting on Tuesday last week which was chaired by Sangma.

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A government-instituted committee on reservation roster had met on Monday too but the VPP and several organisations did not attend it.

Lyngdoh said the committee will inform the government on the need for a discussion since there is a demand to review the reservation policy.

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