HSPDP urges Govt to accept HNLC’s peace talk offer

Shillong Nov 04: The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) on Wednesday urged both the state and Central governments to accept the offer of the proscribed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) to have a dialogue.
“We saw through the media that the HNLC has wanted to come to the negotiating table. This should be welcomed and should not ignore the offer. We want both the Central and state governments to take it seriously,” HSPDP president, K P Pangniang said while speaking to reporters on Wednesday night.

HSPDP legislator, and party’s general secretary, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar said, “we should welcome and respect the desire of the organisation to have a dialogue because we want peace in the state.”

The HSPDP also talked about its demand to exempt the CAB from Meghalaya, the need to reconstitute a consultative committee on inter-state boundary issue, and the need to amend para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule in the context of Meghalaya by replacing the word President with the word Governor.

Renikton informed that during the meeting with Union Home minister in New Delhi on November 30, the HSPDP while discussing about the CAB, took an opportunity to discuss and submitted a letter to the Home Minister on the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule.

Renikton said that the Home Minister was requested to look into the demand of the party to amend para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule so that the word President as mentioned in Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule be replaced with the word Governor.

Section (b) of the paragraph states: “The President may issue a notification by which any act of Parliament will not apply to an autonomous district or an autonomous region in Meghalaya or any part thereof and any such direction may have retrospective effect.”

Renikton recalled that the Meghalaya Assembly had earlier passed and adopted a resolution asking the Centre to invoke paragraph 12A(b) of the Sixth Schedule in which a Presidential notification is issued so as not to apply the central laws — the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1957 to scheduled areas in Meghalaya.

He said that by amending the Para 12 A (b), the Governor of the state will have the power to invoke Para 12A (b) to exempt Central laws in scheduled areas of Meghalaya such as the MMDR Act and other laws.

“This particular clause if amended, it will protect the state and we are sure that the people of the state will once again be able to mine coal without following the Central laws,” Renikton said.

Renikton said that in Assam, para 12 b of the Sixth schedule empowers the governor to exempt the application of Central laws in scheduled areas.

He said that the governor of Assam has such powers as mentioned in Para 12 b of the Sixth Schedule.

Meanwhile the HSPDP has sent a letter to all political parties and three MPs of the state seeking their support on the proposal to amend para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule.