Meghalaya sets up expert panel to review reservation formula
VPP demanding review of reservation policy. (file photo)

Shillong: The Meghalaya government on Thursday announced constitution of an expert committee to review the 1972 reservation policy in line with demands made by the opposition Voice of the People’s Party (VPP) whose leader is on an indefinite hunger strike since Tuesday last week.

The expert committee is mandated to review the state reservation policy by obtaining views from all stakeholders, Chief Secretary D P Wahlang said in a notification today.

“The chairperson and members of the committee shall consist of experts in constitutional law, economics, sociology, demographic studies and related fields,” it added.

An all-party committee on reservation roster and reservation policy which had met on Wednesday had also supported appointing an expert committee to review the 51-year-old reservation policy.

The 1972 job reservation policy 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.

Chaired by state Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, the all-party committee had also suggested that all political parties should submit their suggestions in writing on the matter within a period of 15 days.

Meanwhile, VPP leaders said party president Ardent Basaiawmoit is likely to call off the indefinite hunger strike that he has been holding for the past 10 days as his demand for setting up a review committee has been met.

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Basaiawmoit, however, also demanded that the expert committee members should not have any political-linkages whatsoever.

“The experts in the committee should be apolitical,” he declared.

The VPP leader said the party has also made it very clear that the ratio in terms of the job reservation should be proportionate as per the population structure of the state.

According to the 2011 census, over 14.1 lakh Khasis live in Meghalaya while the number of Garo people is a little over 8.21 lakh.

Also Read | Meghalaya Data Portal: Fixing bond between state and the people

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