The first meeting of the Committee on Roster System has decided to send a proposal to the government to allow the committee to give a patient hearing on the points of view of the Voice of the People Party (VPP) to ensure that the purpose of the committee will be inclusive in nature.
Speaking to reporters on May 29, chairman of the committee, Ampareen Lyngdoh stressed on inclusivity asserting that that decisions for the future should be inclusive and warrants the attendance of all political parties. It may be mentioned that the VPP refused to be part of the committee asserting that they want a discussion on the reservation policy and not the roster system.
Stating that the committee is satisfied with the proposed roster, she said, “We are therefore going to request the government of Meghalaya to include a discussion on the job reservation policy at the earliest so that we may give an opportunity to the Voice of the People Party to present its points of view to the committee.”
Turning to the absence of VPP, she said that the main party that has four MLAs in the legislative assembly is not part of this conversation and discussion and hence, it is lacking inclusiveness.
According to Lyngdoh, she said that if a roster system has to be agreed upon by all stakeholders, particularly the political parties, it is important for the committee to have an inclusive approach wherein all members of all political parties should be a part of the deliberation on the roster system.
She said that the committee has requested the government to go beyond the terms of this committee and take up the matter in the interest of the people.
She said that the committee will meet again on May 31 to give an opportunity to all political parties to bring forward suggestions and observations.
“It is by default that we anyways, had to discuss the reservation policy because roster in isolation from reservation policy does not stand ground. It will only stand ground if you open this discussion on certain aspects of the reservation policy as well. We do not know whether the Chief Minister will allow this committee to take that up, we leave it to the wisdom of the government. A committee is not a cabinet,” she said.
She said that any decisions that the committee takes has to be forwarded to the Chief Minister who will then discuss with the cabinet and only then there can be necessary changes in the OMs (office memorandum) that has surfaced over the last four-five decades.
“So many OMs one after the other. All of those OMs will have to be reviewed, particularly the OM of 22-05-2022. If you have to have a roster in place and that roster application is prospective, all OMs will have to be redundant, a new OM will have to come into place,” she said.
She informed that there was a unanimous agreement of the proposed roster as was discussed by all political parties including the Garo National Council (GNC) which was represented by Augustine Marak through Video Conferencing from Tura.
“We have decided to forward certain recommendations to the government of Meghalaya for its kind consideration,” she said.
KHNAM skips meet
The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) refused to attend the meeting of committee for a late invitation.
In a statement, KHNAM president Pyndap Saibon said, “It is very unprofessional for the government to issue a letter hours before the scheduled meeting, this is however not important to us but a mere observation. The party has decided that we will not be attending the said meeting.”
He informed that the party had already sent a letter to the Law minister and Chairman of the Committee wherein “we have conveyed our stand that, there is a need to relook the State Reservation Policy 1972 and its subsequent O.M and also to ensure that Roster Registers be maintained with effect from May 2022 so that implementation of the Roster System can be Prospective”.
“We stand by the two demands made by the party and we will not compromise either of them. Therefore attending a meeting for discussion does not arise,” Saibon said while adding “We do not need to discuss anymore but a resolution from the Government on both matters is what we need.”