The Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) has asked the Centre not to bring in Panchayati Raj system to Meghalaya through “back door” and instead it should extend the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution to the state in order to pay way for the formation of local self government under the control of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).
This demand from the KHADC came in view of the move of the Centre to implement the scheme “my village my development plan” of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj through the department Community and Rural Development in the state.
Meghalaya which has three ADCs created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution has been exempted from the Panchayati Raj system.
KHADC Chief Executive Member, HS Shylla said that the Executive Committee of the Council on Tuesday discussed the issue at length and strongly opposed any attempt to introduce the Panchayati Raj system in the State.
“If the Centre is showing interest in implementing this scheme, it should consider extending the Eleventh Schedule to Meghalaya since this schedule contains 29 subjects which cover important topics like Panchayat’s powers, rural development, poverty alleviation, market, roads and drinking water,” Shylla said.
Shylla also said that out 29 subjects mentioned in the Eleventh Schedule, only the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is being implemented in Meghalaya relating to poverty alleviation.
“It would be fair if all the 29 subjects are given so that local self government can be formed under the control of the Council. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj was trying to enter into the state through backdoor by asking state to implement the scheme ‘my village my development plan.” he said.
The KHADC would also meet Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma and seek clarification as to why the state government has bypassed the Council in connection with the scheme.
Shhylla said that every village has to elect the Gram Sabha for the implementation of the scheme (my village my development plan) and this is being routed directly through the respective Community and Rural development (C&RD) Blocks in the state, and the scheme stated that any adult persons above 18 years can elect the Gram Sabha which means even non-tribals can participate in such election process.