Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma, on May 25, warned of a serious consequence if the issue of reservation policy continues to hog the headlines and mentioned that the Supreme Court is observing these series of developments.
Hitting out at Voice of the People Party (VPP), Sangma said that this type of politics and drama will land the state in trouble. “We are playing with fire and it will burn everybody, including the VPP. It will destroy the future of our youth,” he said.
Referring to a 2014 case in Maharashtra where a complainant challenged the ordinance passed by the government of Maharashtra in the Supreme Court over the allocation of reserved seats to a certain tribe beyond 50 per cent, Sangma said that the apex court struck down the ordinance and issued a circular to every state in the state country, including Meghalaya, reminding the states of the permissible limit which is at 50 per cent.
“We are at risk because Meghalaya enjoys 85 per cent reservation for tribals – 80 for Khasi-Jaintia and Garo communities and 5 per cent for other tribes. When the Supreme Court had sought for a reply from the states, the government of Meghalaya, on March 27, 2021, submitted its reply with justification on the 85 per cent reservation for tribals. The Supreme Court is yet to take note of this,” he said.
The education minister also referred the 1992 case in the Supreme Court where the top court told the government of Kerala that any policy for job reservation and appointment is not permitted to go beyond 50 per cent.
“The Supreme Court is observing our case. If we continue to play this drama, anything can happen and God forbid, if our policy is struck down, we will be held responsible because this will not be a one-off case; it has happened before. If it happens, our future generation will never forgive us,” Sangma said.
Launching a scathing attack on the opposition VPP, the minister stated that the debate can be summed up in two questions — who built the house and who destroyed the house?
“I am sorry. I am not speaking as a Garo or as a Rakkam Sangma but as an education minister of the state,” he said, calling on VPP chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit to understand the consequence of his actions.
“We should understand the consequence of this drama and politics. Bah Ardent is a senior leader, like my brother; he is an educated man – he should know the consequence of all this. This type of politics and drama will land us in trouble. We will be at the losing end,” he said.