Shillong, March 19: The government today assured the Assembly that the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council would be taken on board if any change is effected to the “Agreed Text of Settlement” to be entered with the outfit.
The text had been framed following a tripartite meeting among the Centre, the state government and the ANVC on January 5 this year. The Meghalaya government has given clearance to the text and it is now under the consideration of the Centre.
“We will share with the ANVC if there is any fine-tuning to the text to avoid any kind of hiccup at the last moment,” Meghalaya chief minister Mukul M. Sangma told the Assembly while replying to a query raised by Independent legislator from Gambegre, Saleng A. Sangma, during question hour.
He, however, refused to divulge details of the text.
He also maintained that the cabinet had the liberty to alter and fine-tune it.
Replying to a query raised by National People’s Party (NPP) legislator James K. Sangma on whether the Garo Hills Territorial Council will be formed as part of the agreement, the chief minister said it was agreed that only more powers and functions will be vested upon the existing Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
“Certain subjects will be transferred to the GHADC, which will expand its functions,” Sangma said
He said there would be a basic settlement for ANVC cadres and the breakaway faction of the outfit was also part of the tripartite agreement.
He said other district councils in the state — the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council — would be strengthened.
“We will strengthen the other councils also. Our intention is that the implementation will be extended to other district councils in the state,” Sangma replied when the NPP legislator wanted to know about the ramifications of the text agreement on the other district councils. He said the state cabinet had gone through the text agreement in January before giving its consent to it. The chief minister hoped that the Centre would give its nod to the text agreement at the earliest.
The ANVC had demanded upgrade of the existing membership of the GHADC from 30 to 40. It had proposed that 35 members would be directly elected while five, comprising two ANVC members, two nokmas and one woman, would be nominated.