PSC meets various stakeholders on Sixth Schedule amendment

Shillong Jan 18: The Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on home affairs visited Meghalaya on Saturday evening and took views and opinions of various stakeholders including political parties on the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

The PSC was led by the Chairman, Anand Sharma who is also the Congress MP in Rajya Sabha.

Sharma along with members of the PSC interacted with representatives of various organisations including members of the autonomous district councils (ADCs) in connection with the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The interactions were held at Hotel Pinewood for around three hours.

Speaking to reporters, Sharma said that the objective of the visit was ` to hear the stakeholders, tribal organisations especially representative of the autonomous district councils to get their views on the Constitutional amendment which deals directly with the ADCs.

“The meeting was good but we cannot share anything about the interactions,” Sharma said.

On when the exercise will complete including submission of the report, Sharma said that hopefully, the committee would complete by March this year and submit the report to Parliament.

Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya Assembly, Dr Mukul Sangma who attended the meeting did not divulge issues raised by the Congress party before the PSC.

Mukul said that the issues raised before the PSC remain secret.

“Everything we have articulated during the discussion remains confidential until the PSC which has been mandated with the responsibility, submits its report in Parliament,” he said.

The main issue discussed include the demand to exclude the word “unrepresented tribe” from proposed Sixth Schedule amendment, increase in the number of seats in ADCs, and the need to amend Para 12 A (b) of the Sixth Schedule in order to return the power of application of acts of Parliament to the governor of the state from the President of India.

There has been opposition against the move to include the word “unrepresented tribes” in the Sixth Schedule in order to facilitate nomination of members from among the sub tribes to become nominated members of the two ADCs which have been proposed to renamed as “Khasi Hills Autonomous Territorial Council” and “Garo Hills Autonomous Territorial Council”.