SHILLONG, SEP 25: Opposition members in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Monday staged a walkout as a mark of protest against the NPP-led executive committee’s refusal to refer the KHAD (Administration of Elaka) (Second Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was passed by the House, to the select committee for further fine tuning.
Leader of Opposition Titosstarwell Chyne along with other opposition members decided to walkout of the House after the KHADC chief executive member Pyniaid Sing Syiem and deputy chief executive member Pynshngainlang Sing Syiem maintained the firm stand of the executive committee not to refer the Bill to the select committee during the special session, which concluded here.
While replying in the House, Pyniaid Sing Syiem requested the opposition to allow the smooth passage of the Bill, which seeks to define the functioning of the rangbah dong (locality head) seng longkmie (women organization), seng samla (youth organization) under the village dorbar as per law.
“If we can pass this Bill, it will be a big blessing. We will also work together with the opposition bench. Therefore, we urge the members of the opposition to support the passing of this Bill,” he said.
According to him, the district council has been in existence for seventy years but functioning of seng kyntheir and seng samla has not been defined as per law except the appointment of chiefs and headmen.
The KHADC chief further assured that necessary amendment, if required, will be made to the Bill and cited even the Constitution of India, 125th amendment is being brought.
Pynshngainlang N Syiem said there is an urgency to pass the Bill and the opposition is requested to allow the passing of the Bill. He said that due diligence had been done by the executive committee before deciding to come up with a fresh Bill for empowering the dorbar shnong, seng longkmie and seng samla shnong.
The Bill said that the dorbar shnong shall have the power to approve the constitution of seng longkmie, seng samla, sports club or any other association.
Earlier while moving an amendment motion to the Bill, Titosstarwell Chyne suggested that the Bill be referred to the select committee because it is contradicting with the principal Act and the Appointment and Succession of Chiefs and Headmen (9th Amendment) Bill.
“It will not look good if the Bill contradicts with the Bills already passed by the same House,” he said.
He also pointed out that the circulation of the Bill was not done in time and members of the House also needed to give their views and suggestions.
Further, the leader of opposition said in terms of dispute between himas, the matter should be left with the judicial magistrate and not the executive committee to ensure there is no nepotism and favouritism.
“If the EC wants to bring clean governance, then the appellate authority should not be the executive committee.”
He also claimed that many MDCs have lost the election due to interference into such disputes between himas.
“Therefore, we want to maintain that we are not against the Bill but we are against the hasty decision of the executive committee to pass it. That is why we are staging a walkout because we don’t want to be part of such a decision,” Chyne said.
Later after the protest by the opposition, the Bill was passed by the House.
Speaking to reporters after the session, Chyne has termed the passing of the Bill as a bulldozing attitude of the EC just because they have the numbers with them.
He said that the opposition has decided to soon write to the Governor and State government for their necessary intervention into the matter.