| ANVC cadres at an undisclosed location. File picture |
Shillong, Sept. 3: The much-awaited peace pact with the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC) has cleared all necessary hurdles, with the exception of one, before it is brought to the Union cabinet for approval.
A Meghalaya government official today said the Agreed Text for Settlement with the ANVC and its breakaway factions has received clearance from all Union ministries with the exception of the law ministry.
“All hurdles have been cleared, and it is lying with the Union law ministry now for its comments. Maybe once the pact is signed and implemented, constitutional amendments will be required,” the official said.
While stating that the Centre has not sent any word to the state government on the latest status of the Agreed Text for Settlement, the official expressed optimism that the Union cabinet would consider and approve the text at the earliest possible time.
The official also said there was no time frame as to when the Agreed Text for Settlement would be approved, signed and implemented.
Time and again, chief minister Mukul Sangma has asked the Centre to give its nod to the Settlement which, the government believes, will go a long way in restoring normality in the restive Garo hills region.
Last month, while speaking in New Delhi, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had announced that an agreement had been reached with the ANVC mainly on enhancing the autonomy of the existing Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) in Meghalaya.
Shinde also said that the agreement would be placed before the government for approval and he expected that the signing of the agreement with the ANVC will improve the situation in the area (Garo hills).
The ANVC has demanded at least 10 more seats in the GHADC.
From 40 seats, the ANVC proposed that 35 will be directly elected, while five — comprising two ANVC members, two nokmas (traditional heads) and one woman — will be nominated.