Set up committee to review job policy: All party meet to Meghalaya govt
Meghalaya Law minister Ampareen Lyngdoh

Shillong: The Meghalaya government set-up all-party meeting to review the 1972 job reservation policy has proposed the constitution of an expert committee to review the policy.

The all-party meeting was held on Wednesday chaired by Meghalaya Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh.

The meeting proposed the constitution of an expert committee to review the state’s job reservation policy, Lyngdoh said.

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The expert committee should have legal, constitutional and economic background experts that will look at data and evaluation of population, she said.

“The (constitution of an expert committee) will be one of the suggestions to be sent to the government by the committee,” Lyngdoh told media persons after the meeting with leaders and representatives of all political parties including those of the agitating Voice of the People’s Party (VPP) on Wednesday.

She, however, said that not all political parties are in agreement to have an expert committee.

“There are political parties who agreed and there are political parties who did not agree. So we will do our job by sending the minutes to the government that were discussed in the meeting,” she added.

The minister suggested that all political parties should submit their suggestions in writing on the matter within a period of 15 days. “All political parties are to prepare their suggestions, omissions, cancellations, deletions with substantial legal footings to ensure that there will be no obstruction or scrutiny that will result negatively for the government,” Lyngdoh said.

Meanwhile, VPP president Ardent Basaiawmoit is on an indefinite hunger strike for more than nine days demanding a review of the 1972 job reservation policy of the state.

Basaiawmoit said the agitation will be withdrawn only if the government expresses its readiness to review the 1972 job reservation policy which awarded 40 per cent of reserved jobs to Garos, 40 per cent for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.

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“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.

“I will continue with my hunger strike until I receive a notification from the government on the constitution of an expert committee,” he said on Wednesday.

The VPP leader had rejected the request of the state government for talks and claimed that there was massive support from people and civil society organizations demanding that the 40:40 reservation of jobs between the Khasis and the Garos be reviewed.

The VPP chief maintained the 50-year-old reservation policy is “unfair and outdated” considering that the population of the Khasis have outnumbered that of the Garos in the state.

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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

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.

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