Confusion clouds UPDS accord Parties differ over council

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 28.11.11

Guwahati, Nov. 27: Confusion clouds the tripartite peace accord signed by the Karbi outfit, United People’s Democratic Solidarity, in Delhi last Friday, with Dispur and the outfit’s leaders speaking in two voices over dissolution of the present Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.

While the state government has ruled out any possibility of dissolving the council, the UPDS today said the success of the peace accord would depend on how the Centre delivers its promise to dissolve the council.

“Union home minister P. Chidambaram has assured us that after signing of the accord, the present autonomous council would be dissolved and elections to the autonomous council would be held under a neutral administration. If the Centre fails to deliver on the promises it had made, we will consider it a betrayal,” UPDS chairman Longsodar Senar told reporters today on returning from Delhi after signing the accord on November 25.

He said Chidambaram had agreed to their demand of holding an autonomous council election under a neutral interim administration after dissolving the existing council during a meeting at his North Block office on November 23.

The outfit’s leaders said they agreed to sign the accord because of Chidambaram’s verbal commitment and believed that he would honour his word.

According to the UPDS, the home minister had made a verbal promise to them since there was no mention about dissolution of the existing council in the memorandum of settlement (MoS) signed between the outfit and the government.

The state cabinet, on the other hand, had taken a decision against the dissolution of the autonomous council and conveyed it to the Centre.

In the MoS it is stated that the state government has agreed to reorganise the existing autonomous district under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution into four administrative districts for better administrative and developmental administration.

As part of the restructuring and empowerment process, the existing autonomous council will be renamed the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council.

The proposed Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council will have 50 members to give greater representation to people living in remote and isolated clusters of villages.

Of these, 44 will be elected members and six will be nominated by the governor of Assam.

According to the MoS, the increase in seats will be applicable from subsequent elections, due in the year 2016-17 or mid-term poll, if any, whichever is earlier.

Altogether 39 subjects will be transferred to the proposed Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council and its chief and deputy chief will have status equivalent to that of the cabinet minister and the other executive council members equivalent to the minister of state.

In the MoS, it was also mentioned that the state government would provide support for relief and rehabilitation of the members of the UPDS, besides organising vocational classes for them.

It stated that special psychological counselling and career guidance classes would be also be held at the designated camps of UPDS to facilitate rehabilitation of its cadres.