Meghalaya CM says roster system in place as per HC order; VPP wants roster system on hold

March 29, 2023 by MT Bureau

Staff Reporter

Shillong, March 27: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said it is a mandatory rule to have a roster system in place for the implementation of the state reservation policy.

Replying to the budget discussion, Sangma said the roster system was not implemented in the state for the past 50 years and now it is being implemented based on the order passed by the Meghalaya High Court.

He however said that the members are free to challenge the court order. “They can always challenge the order,” Sangma said.

Meanwhile, participating in the budget discussion, Voice of the People Party (VPP) Chief and Nongkrem legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit demanded the state government to put on hold the implementation of the roster system pending the review of the reservation policy.

He said that the decision to fix a reservation of 40 per cent for the Garos and 40 per cent for the Khasi-Jaintia were done thoughtlessly and rush on the part of the Khasi leaders to agree to the arrangement may be due to the fear that the dream of achieving the statement will not be achieved or they must have overlooked the difference in the size of the population.

He said that the Khasi population constitutes up to 45 per cent while the Garo community constitutes 30 per cent only.

Stating that the reservation policy has been changed around 8-10 times through office memorandums (OMs), Basaiawmoit, however, said, “I feel that it is an urgent need to put on hold the implementation of the roster system retrospectively and let the government come up with a better policy. If we go by this (present) policy, changes have been brought to allow people from outside to avail this benefit.”

“If leaders in the past can come for the formation of the state, why can’t leaders from both sides sit together and come up with a better policy,” he asserted.

The VPP leader further maintained that his party is not against the roster system and said, “We also don’t have any intention or ill feeling against any community. We understand we have to be very careful and to deal with utmost care as we don’t want to hurt the sentiment of any particular community.”