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Monogamy on poll wishlist

Shillong, Dec. 27: Elections are all about “the-more-the-merrier” recipe, but a pressure group in Meghalaya wants to see only those who practise “monogamy” to become legislators.

Today, while urging aspiring legislators to possess at least some minimum educational qualifications (graduation or master’s degree), the Hynniewtrep Achik National Movement (HANM), said budding lawmakers should be those who practise “monogamy” according to Khasi traditional ethics.

“We want to see that those who practise monogamy are elected to the state Assembly in the 2013 polls,” HANM president Lamphrang Kharbani said in a statement.

Kharbani added that candidates for the 2013 elections should sign an agreement with the public, vowing to abide by the manifesto and keep all promises.

He also wants the legislators to table a marriage law, which will prevent marriage for boys before the age of 30 years and girls before the age of 25 years.

“This is because a strong and peaceful family background produces good and honest leaders who will respect the masses,” he said.

However, in India, the law states that any girl above 18 years of age is eligible for marriage while the marriageable age for boys is 21.

“Legislators should also fight to amend the land acquisition act by giving authority to the indigenous landowners as owners and amend the Constitution by giving special status to the indigenous tribal like in Jammu and Kashmir,” Kharbani said.

The group also wants all legislators to implement the various government schemes meant for the public and be accounted for accordingly.

“Legislators should debate in the Assembly sessions for the reopening of border haats because trade is the backbone of our community. They should also strive for better laws to protect the environment and prevent unscientific mining of besides amending the education policy, which is not on a par with Khasi society,” Kharbani said.

He said a legislator should unite with other representatives to demand a separate state for the Hynniewtrep people and strengthen the traditional administration.

The other points highlighted by the group include the demand from the Centre to recognise Khasi as an official language by incorporating it in the Eighth Schedule, and the amendment of the state job reservation policy.