SHILLONG, February 18: The President of Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) who is also the MLA of North Shillong, Adelbert Nongrum said that the time is ripe for the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council and the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council to wake up from their slumber and revamp Rule 128 of the Assam and Meghalaya AutonomousDistrict (Constitution of District Council)Rules,1951.
He said that during his tenure as an MDC in the KHADC, he had raised the matter from time to time and also urged upon the Executive Committee of that time to begin the process for a revamp in the AD Rules 128.
He said that what has happened in Garo Hills Autonomous District Council should be taken as a wake up call because the MDCs have been given the charge through the District Council to make laws under Section 3 of the Sixth Schedule.
Nongrum said that in order to safeguard the interests of the future generations, he has pressed upon this need time and again from 2009 and 2014 during his tenure as an MDC. Furthermore, he said that the AD Rules 128 allows for any person to be elected as an MDC, however, at present in the GHADC, people from other communities have also been elected as MDCs and added that if in governance other communities are included then for whom shall the laws be made.
The leader of KHNAM said that the KHADC and the JHADC should stay vigilant on this matter and also expressed that it is illogical to amend the Sixth Schedule only to increase the number of MDC seats or to get more funds. He said that the District Councils are bodies meant to uphold and strengthen the rights of the indigenous people and it is high time that the AD Rules 128 is revamped so that the indigenous people can continue to have a right over their land.