The Parliamentary Standing Committee was headed by Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma Credit: EastMojo

Shillong: Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma on Saturday met various stakeholders and discussed at length their views and suggestions on the proposed amendment to the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Sharma was accompanied by five other MPs and officials of the Union ministry of home affairs.

The meeting was attended by various civil society groups, members of the the Autonomous District Council and student bodies, among others.

Addressing the media, Sharma said that it was a closed door meeting and was not able to give out any details. “Although it was a good meeting, the committee heard the stakeholders, their representatives and tribal organisations and the autonomous district council on the constitutional amendment which deals directly with the ADCs,” said Sharma.

Sharma also informed that the committee will hopefully submit its report by the month of March.

Members of the various organisations expressed satisfaction for having been able to express their views and give out their suggestions.

Thma U Rangli (TUR) member Angela Rangad said that they are glad for having given a chance to be heard as they needed to flag the issue regarding women representation, ensuring that the district council is more participatory, inclusive and democratic which is not happening at the ground level.

Meanwhile, Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council chairman PN Syiem said that they raised the issue of unrepresented tribes, raising of the number of seats in the ADCs and ward village council.

“We want 35 MDCs in the KHADC, which should have two nominated MDCs including one woman MDC. We also want to maintain their tradition by having village durbars instead of village councils,” said Syiem.

He argued that in KHADC, all the scheduled tribes are still qualified to vote and contest the elections and hence there should be no quota for the unrepresented tribes.

The One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Amendment Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by then Union minister of home affairs Rajnath Singh on February 6, 2019. The Bill amends provisions related to the Finance Commission and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The Sixth Schedule relates to the administration of tribal areas in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

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